GetFIT - Promoting Wellness of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities via Interprofessional Collaboration

Purpose : Healthy living involves participation in physical activity and maintaining proper nutrition. Many individuals find it difficult to maintain a balance of physical activity and eating well but this is especially true of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). It is currently estimated that 1 in 6 children in the US have a developmental disability and the prevalence is expected to continue to rise as the number of children being diagnosed with autism continues to increase. The health of individuals with IDD is an ongoing concern with higher obesity rates in children and adults with IDD vs the general population. Community fitness activities may be difficult to find or access for these individuals. The primary purpose of the GetFIT program was to improve health and wellness among individuals with IDD. The second goal was to give future health care workers the experience of working with this population. The project was also designed to provide services via teams of undergraduate and graduate students from pre-professional and professional programs in the health sciences.Description : The GetFIT program was offered on campus and in the community for individuals with IDD. Baseline and post test measures of fitness, physical activity, nutrition and quality of life were collected. Participants engaged in a 12 week (2x / wk) exercise and nutrition program. Services were provided by graduate students from Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Nursing as well as undergraduate students from the School of Health Sciences.Summary of Use : Improvements were noted on select outcome measures of body composition and fitness for individuals with IDD. All students providing services were invited to participate in focus group discussion to explore their experiences. Eleven students participated (9 female; mean age 23.55) and completed the ÒAttitudes Toward Health Care TeamsÓ survey which revealed positive attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration (total mean score was 4.31 on this 5 point Likert scale). For many students, working on this project was their initial exposure to individuals with IDD. Prominent themes were identified. Students articulated the importance of social interaction of individuals with IDD participating in GetFIT. In addition, students valued working as part of an interprofessional team and learning from each other.Importance to Members: The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research recently published a curriculum development guide for health professions faculty entitled: Advancing Interprofessional Clinical Prevention and Population Health EducationÓ that links strategies to achieve Healthy People 2020 goals with the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). The GetFIT program is one model for educating future health professionals to provide prevention and wellness services for individuals with IDD as part of an interprofessional team, and to achieve expected IPE competencies.

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  • Control #: 2025116
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Patricia Q. McGinnis, M. Alysia Mastrangelo, Mary Kientz, Joan Perks
  • Keywords: Interprofessional team|wellness|developmental disabilities

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