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Community Health Care for Adults and Elders with Developmental Disabilities Research and Training

A Project of the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
funded by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC)

AEDD Home > Curricula for Family and Residential Providers > Text version of The Nurse Practitioner’s Role in Caring for Adults with Developmental Disabilities Contact

The Nurse Practitioner’s Role in Caring for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Lisa Krogman, RN, MN

Definition Of Developmental Disabilities


Issues in providing care to adults with disabilities

Visits to the provider

Obtaining a History

Routine Health Care Vaccinations

Routine Health Care Screening

  • Preventable diseases occur in this population as does in the non DD population
  • Follow USPHS/CDC guidelines
  • Auditory and visual senses tend to deteriorate more rapidly
  • Yearly vision and auditory screening recommended and in some states required for group home certification
  • Dental Screening
    • Offered at least every 2 years- may need to consciously sedate; e.g Ketamine
    • Valvular defects (Down’s Syndrome) may require antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Colon cancer screening
    • Same as general population-occult blood after age 50, flexible sigmoidoscopy after age 50 or sooner if significant history
    • May need general anesthesia to perform. Important to weigh risk/benefit of frequency of procedure
  • Yearly thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) for people with Down’s Syndrome
  • Female Specific Screening:
    • Mammography and clinical breast exam should be performed according to current guidelines
    • Gynecological exams should be performed at least every 3 years or yearly if sexually active

Female Issues--Screening

Male Screening Issues

Health Lifestyles/Behaviors

Acute/Chronic Illness

Care Coordination

Special Situations



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Updated 02/7/05


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