Cross-Cultural Understanding of Health Assessments for People with Intellectual Disability: An Australian resource in the Philippines

C. E. Brolan, M. T. Gomez, N. G. Lennox, R. S Ware


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has resulted in the involvement of high income countries in international development assistance to people with disabilities in low and middle income countries.  Healthcare tools designed in high income countries and delivered in low and middle income countries may not be appropriate to the context of the lives of people with disabilities.  We undertook a short qualitative study of participants’ views of an Australian-designed comprehensive health assessment tool, with participation from a WHO-Collaborating non-government organisation in regional Philippines. We also examined the participants’ perceptions of the barriers to healthcare for Filipinos with intellectual disabilities.  Responses to the comprehensive health assessment tool were positive although participants agreed that both linguistic and cultural translation would enhance wider use of the tool. The barriers identified included poverty, family isolation, stigma and communication issues as preventing appropriate healthcare delivery to Filipinos with intellectual disability. Consideration must be given to the complexities of transference of healthcare resources to a low and middle income country context, as well as the systemic and cultural barriers to appropriate healthcare provision to people with disabilities.


assessment, cross-cultural, Australia, Philippines, intellectual disability

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