Intellectual disability and indigenous Australians: An overview

M.K. Roy, Sivasankaran Balaratnasingam

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


    © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd. The review summarizes important literature in the emerging field of intellectual disability (ID) in indigenous Australians. Search of various electronic databases revealed 19 papers that provide information regarding prevalence, sociodemographic factors, and issues in assessment and management. Overall, there is limited information regarding ID in indigenous Australians, which is reported to be more prevalent compared with nonindigenous Australians. Sociocultural constructs affect what is considered to be ID in indigenous communities and this may be at odds with western notions. Other difficulties include lack of validated psychometric instruments to effectively measure cognitive functioning in indigenous Australians. Prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal factors are significant factors that impair brain development and contribute to ID in indigenous communities. Comorbid physical and psychiatric disorders need to be assessed and managed. This paper provides an overview of current knowledge regarding this important area that requires further research, appropriate training, and resourcing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-372
    JournalAsia-Pacific Psychiatry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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