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An evaluation of the effectiveness of annual health checks and quality of health care for adults with intellectual disability: an observational study using a primary care database

Carey, IM; Hosking, F; Harris, T; De Wilde, S; Beighton, C; Cook, DG (2017) An evaluation of the effectiveness of annual health checks and quality of health care for adults with intellectual disability: an observational study using a primary care database. Health Services and Delivery Research, 5 (25). ISSN 2050-4357
SGUL Authors: Carey, Iain Miller Cook, Derek Gordon De Wilde, Stephen Harris, Teresa Jane

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Background People with intellectual disability (ID) have poorer health than the general population; however, there is a lack of comprehensive national data describing their health-care needs and utilisation. Annual health checks for adults with ID have been incentivised through primary care since 2009, but only half of those eligible for such a health check receive one. It is unclear what impact health checks have had on important health outcomes, such as emergency hospitalisation. Objectives To evaluate whether or not annual health checks for adults with ID have reduced emergency hospitalisation, and to describe health, health care and mortality for adults with ID. Design A retrospective matched cohort study using primary care data linked to national hospital admissions and mortality data sets. Setting A total of 451 English general practices contributing data to Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). Participants A total of 21,859 adults with ID compared with 152,846 age-, gender- and practice-matched controls without ID registered during 2009–13. Interventions None. Main outcome measures Emergency hospital admissions. Other outcomes – preventable admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, and mortality. Data sources CPRD, Hospital Episodes Statistics and Office for National Statistics. Results Compared with the general population, adults with ID had higher levels of recorded comorbidity and were more likely to consult in primary care. However, they were less likely to have long doctor consultations, and had lower continuity of care. They had higher mortality rates [hazard ratio (HR) 3.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.3 to 3.9], with 37.0% of deaths classified as being amenable to health-care intervention (HR 5.9, 95% CI 5.1 to 6.8). They were more likely to have emergency hospital admissions [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.82, 95% CI 2.66 to 2.98], with 33.7% deemed preventable compared with 17.3% in controls (IRR 5.62, 95% CI 5.14 to 6.13). Health checks for adults with ID had no effect on overall emergency admissions compared with controls (IRR 0.96, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.07), although there was a relative reduction in emergency admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (IRR 0.82, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.99). Practices with high health check participation also showed a relative fall in preventable emergency admissions for their patients with ID, compared with practices with minimal participation (IRR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.95). There were large variations in the health check-related content that was recorded on electronic records. Limitations Patients with milder ID not known to health services were not identified. We could not comment on the quality of health checks. Conclusions Compared with the general population, adults with ID have more chronic diseases and greater primary and secondary care utilisation. With more than one-third of deaths potentially amenable to health-care interventions, improvements in access to, and quality of, health care are required. In primary care, better continuity of care and longer appointment times are important examples that we identified. Although annual health checks can also improve access, not every eligible adult with ID receives one, and health check content varies by practice. Health checks had no impact on overall emergency admissions, but they appeared influential in reducing preventable emergency admissions. Future work No formal cost-effectiveness analysis of annual health checks was performed, but this could be attempted in relation to our estimates of a reduction in preventable emergency admissions. Funding The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Queen’s Printer and Controller of HMSO 2017. This work was produced by Carey et al. under the terms of a commissioning contract issued by the Secretary of State for Health. This issue may be freely reproduced for the purposes of private research and study and extracts (or indeed, the full report) may be included in professional journals provided that suitable acknowledgement is made and the reproduction is not associated with any form of advertising. Applications for commercial reproduction should be addressed to: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK.
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Population Health Research Institute (INPH)
Journal or Publication Title: Health Services and Delivery Research
ISSN: 2050-4357
14 March 2017Accepted
September 2017Published
Publisher License: Publisher's own licence
Project IDFunderFunder ID
12/64/154National Institute for Health Research
Publisher's version:

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