Physical and mental health status of staff working for people with intellectual disabilities in Taiwan: Measurement with the 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) health survey
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Little explicit attention has been given to the generic health profile of staff working for people with intellectual disability in institutions. This study aimed to provide a profile of physical and mental health of staff working in disability welfare institutions, and to examine the possible demographic and organizational factors that explain an association with their health. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted to analyze 1243 staff (76% response rate) working in 24 institutions in Taiwan. The 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) Taiwan version was used to measure their generic health status. The mean of Physical component scores (PCS) was slightly higher than Mental component scores (MCS) (50.83 vs. 45.12). With regard to each dimension among PCS, the mean score of Physical functioning (PF) was 57.14 (S.D. = 5.93), Role limitations-physical (RP) was 49.88 (S.D. = 9.69), Bodily pain (BP) was 52.14 (S.D. = 8.09) and General medical health (GH) was 51.50 (S.D. = 8.28). Among the MCS, Vitality (VT) was 46.19 (S.D. = 6.71); Social functioning (SF) was 46.44 (S.D. = 7.58); Role limitations-emotional (RE) was 47.30 (S.D. = 11.89) and Mental health (MH) was 43.58 (S.D. = 8.81). We found the generic health of staff working for people with intellectual disabilities were significantly lower in PCS and MCS than the Taiwan general population. Influences of staff's demographic and organizational characteristics on their health were also analyzed in the content. This study highlights the authorities and service providers need to continue to develop their awareness and understanding of the experiences that their staff encounters in the organizations, so that they can receive resources to support their positive health in working for people with intellectual disabilities.
Research in Developmental Disabilities