Predictors of Onset of Common Health Conditions and Receipt of Preventive Services among Adults with Disabilities

Project Title:  Disability and Health: Predictors of onset of common health conditions and receipt of preventive services among adults with disabilities
Principal Investigator: Suzanne McDermott, PhD, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC

Funding Dates (3 years): September 30, 2012 – September 29, 2015

Project Description and Objectives

The goal of the proposed research is to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the factors associated with timely receipt of age and sex specific US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) preventive health recommendations for three case groups: (a) adults with intellectual disability (ID), (b) adults with spinal cord injuries (SCI), and (c) adults who are blind?
  2. Are there differences in the prevalence and age at onset of common health conditions for (a) adults with ID, (b) adults with SCI, and (c) adults who are blind?
  3. What are predictors of the onset of complications of diabetes mellitus and the quality of tertiary preventive care related to diabetes among adults with disabilities who have diabetes?

These questions will be answered using two levels of data: (1) national data from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), and (2) South Carolina Medicaid, Medicare, and administrative data from an array of agencies.

The comparison group will be approximately adults who received a service but did not have any of the case disabilities, and are strata matched for age (in five-year intervals) and sex. This dataset will contain other possible factors associated with timely receipt of services including race/ethnicity, urban/rural county, residence (apartment, home, group setting), support services (day program, employment services), severity of disability (using available classifications), utilization of disability services, and co-existing conditions.

Research Plan and Project Activities

There are two arms to this proposed study. The first arm (National Study) will use a cross-sectional design to focus on health and medical services for a nationally representative sample of adults with disabilities using linked NHIS and MEPS data. We will study predictors of disability and then focus on people with ID, SCI and people who are blind compared to a group without a disability. The second study (South Carolina Study) approach will use ten years of data in a retrospective cohort design with data from Medicare, Medicaid and administrative data from numerous agencies to conduct studies of people with ID, SCI and people who are blind.