About Primary Care Guidelines
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have different and often more complex health needs than other patients do. As primary care providers, family physicians play an important role in promoting the health and well-being of these patients. Many of their health conditions are preventable when we adapt health care to their specific needs. It is important that physicians know what specifically to attend to in their patients with IDD, how best to care for them, and how to adapt their practice.
The 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines on primary care for adults with IDD outline standards of care to support clinical decision making. They also point to clinical tools and other practical resources for primary care providers. These guidelines are developed by family physicians, nurses, psychiatrists and other experts who are experienced in the care of people with IDD. They promote a consideration of different types of knowledge that support recommendations, such as empirical and health eco-system studies and also studies regarding patient experiences and clinical expertise.
The guidelines offer advice on preventing symptoms in chronic illnesses, minimizing the stress of life transitions and other life experiences, and reviewing multiple, long-term use of medications. The guidelines emphasize periodic preventive health assessments, health action plans and systematic assessment of behaviours that challenge.
All information in this section is closely based on the publication Primary care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: 2018 Canadian consensus guidelines, in Canadian Family Physician, Volume 64: April 2018, and is subject to copyright.
The guidelines are published by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Permission for publication of the guidelines on this website was obtained from the publisher. None of this content may be distributed, copied or altered without permission.
Download a copy of the 2018 guidelines
Soins primaires aux adultes ayant des déficiences intellectuelles et développementales
Lignes directrices consensuelles canadiennes de 2018
Previous versions of the guidelines: 2011 guidelines, 2006 guidelines
Guideline update colloquium
In June 2016, the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program brought together family physicians and other health care providers with expertise in the care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to discuss updates to the 2011 Canadian consensus guidelines on the primary care of adults with developmental disabilities. Participants formed topic specific knowledge synthesis groups that suggested changes to the 2011 guidelines. A guideline steering committee led the editorial process and provided oversight to the consensus process.
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