Clinical Dynamics of Mental Retardation and Social Adaptation of Patients as They Age
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Objective. Identify the patterns of social adaptation of patients with mental retardation (MR) with aging in relation to clinical dynamics, analysis of the factors and circumstances associated with the development of MR and determining patients’ adaptive potential. Materials and methods. A total of 187 patients with MR were followed through childhood to age 23–25 years, with histories of mean duration 17.7 ± 3.7 years. The main study method consisted of clinical psychopathological investigations, with assessment of social functioning using the Assessment of Social Skills and Abilities in Adolescents with Chronic Mental Disorders and the Questionnaire for Assessment of Social Functioning and the Quality of Life of Mental Patients. Results and conclusions. About 90% of young patients with mild MR were able to attain a professional education, though only 40% had permanent employment, 35% having temporary jobs. A total of 80% of patients with moderate MR were not in work, and fewer than 10% had temporary jobs. Disability status assigned in childhood persisted in most patients. A number of early risk factors for birth with MR were identified. The level of social adaptation of patients was found to correlate with the depth of intellectual deficit and to depend on various external factors.
Keywordschildren adolescents young adults mental retardation disability social adaptation
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