Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) is investigating how adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario use primary healthcare services and whether guideline-recommended care is being provided. This study is being conducted because people with developmental disabilities are known to:
- Be at risk of poor health compared to the general population
- Have difficulty accessing health care services that meet their unique needs
HCARDD focusses on the evaluation of primary care as a means of improving the health of adults with developmental disabilities. This has benefits for people with developmental disabilities and their families. There are also potential benefits for the health system through reducing the resources needed to care for preventable conditions in this population.
This study is the first involving the linkage of data sets originating from two ministries to study the healthcare of people with developmental disabilities in Ontario. The data sources are the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) which houses administrative health data, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) which houses data on income supports. This cross-ministry data linkage is needed because developmental disabilities are not consistently noted in health data. Linking data from two sources will provide a more representative sample to study health and healthcare of this vulnerable population.