Introduction to Research Theme: Medicines Optimization and Innovation
This research theme's focus is on medicine use and pharmacology among adults with intellectual disability. This theme includes investigations on polypharmacy, drug burden, and gastrointestinal medicine to name but a few. Pharmacology contributes to building accurate health and wellbeing data across all other themes.
Life expectancy for people with an intellectual disability has demonstrated growing trends over the last number of decades that said, there still exists an almost 20 year disparity between their non-disabled peers. However longevity is providing new challenges in understanding not only how individuals are living with illness but also how they are dying.
While there is a growing openness to death, end of life planning and palliative care in the general population, there is limited research available among the intellectual disability arena. There is evidence that people with intellectual disability can and are willing to engage in the sensitive and complex issue of end of life. Establishing a demographic and health profile of older adults with intellectual disability at end of life and exploring carers' perspectives of the end of life experiences of those for whom they care will contribute to the development of a robust body of knowledge of the physical, social, and psychological needs of people with intellectual disability and those who support them as they approach end of life.