Date Presented 04/22/2023
Accessing the appropriate level of medical treatment is a challenge to living independently for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Developing instructional materials and strategies is key to improving success. This study found a statistically significant change in pre- and posttest measures on the Independent Living Scale, Health and Safety Section (p = .01), and a modified version of the PASS-Referenced Dispatch Scale (p = .018).
Primary Author and Speaker: Jeanne Sowers
Additional Authors and Speakers: Michelle Michaels, Katherine McGinley, Natalie Molnar, Eva Anacacy
PURPOSE: The current study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of health and safety training in improving how those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) living at an independent living facility use emergency services appropriately. Study
DESIGN: A quasi-experimental pre-test and post-test research design.
METHOD: The Independent Living Scale (ILS) Health and Safety subsection (ILS-HS), researcher modified Performance Assessment of Self-care Skills (PASS)-Referenced Dispatcher Scale, and researcher-developed Emergency Awareness and Ability to Respond Scale was administered prior to and immediately following a 4-week educational program focusing on accessing emergency response system and the health care system.
RESULTS: A statistically significant difference was found between the relevant ILS-HS pre-and post-test data (Wilcoxon Test Analysis, P=0.011) and the third subsection of the PASS- Referenced Dispatcher Scale, mean adequacy (P=0.018). No significant correlation (Spearmen’s Correlation, P= 0.846) was found between the participants’ perspective subsection of The Emergency Awareness and Ability to Respond Scale, the participants’ pre-test score on the ILS-HS and between the participants’ perspective subsection on The Emergency Awareness and Ability to Respond Scale and the case manager/caregiver subsection pre-test score on The Emergency Awareness and Ability to Respond Scale (Spearmen’s Correlation, P=0.414).
CONCLUSION: The increased score on the relevant ILS-HS and the mean adequacy of the PASS referenced Dispatcher Scale suggests the potential of targeted safety programs to improve emergency preparedness and safety for individuals with IDD. The lack of correlation between self-awareness, ILS-HS score, and case manager score may indicate that self-awareness is not a good measure of safety skills in this population. The small sample size of this study as well as the lack of a significant difference of the non-relevant to this study items on the ILS-HS indicates the need for further research within this population. However, the increased score on the relevant ILS-HS and the mean adequacy of the PASS-Referenced Dispatcher Scale indicates that targeted programs suggest the potential to increase safety among individuals with IDD. Keywords: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), Independent living facility, appropriate use of emergency services.
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