Trends in Rehabilitation Services Use in Chinese Children and Adolescents With Intellectual Disabilities: 2007-2013

Ping He, Chao Guo, Yanan Luo, Xu Wen, John Michael Ian Salas, Gong Chen, Xiaoying Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate trends in rehabilitation services use in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities, and to explore factors potentially contributing to the trends. Design: A population-based study using a multistage, randomized cluster-sampling process to ascertain participants in 2006. A subsample was selected for follow-up surveys from 2007 to 2013. Setting: Thirty-one provinces of China. Participants: Children (N=5432) aged 0 to 17 years with intellectual disabilities were followed up for 7 years. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: The outcome variable was whether individuals received at least 1 of the following rehabilitation services in the past 12 months: occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech or communication therapy. Results: Overall, the utilization rates of rehabilitation services significantly increased from 14.4% in 2007 to 37.1% in 2013. The trends were also significant in children aged 0 to 10 and 11 to 17 years, in boys and girls, and in rural participants. From 2007 to 2013, rehabilitation services utilization increased at an annual rate of 22.39% (95% confidence interval, 18.11%-26.82%) in the total sample. The rise was only significant in rural rather than urban individuals, resulting in the urban-rural gap in rehabilitation services use being narrowed. However, minority populations and those without health insurance still received fewer rehabilitation services than their respective counterparts. Conclusions: There were upward trends in rehabilitation services use in participants over time, and the urban-rural gap was narrowed. However, there were still socioeconomic differences on rehabilitation services use among children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Child
  • Intellectual disability
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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