Title

The comparison of the quality of life of individuals living in small intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded and small non-intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded

Date of Completion

January 1999

Keywords

Education, Educational Psychology|Health Sciences, Health Care Management

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

During the last fifteen years researchers have studied quality of life (QOL) for individuals with mental retardation. Many studies have compared the quality of life for people in large intermediate care facilities (eight or more) for the mentally retarded (ICF/MR) with the QOL of those in large facilities that are not federally regulated (non-ICF/MR). There are few studies however, comparing small regulated vs. non-regulated facilities of eight or less people. This study examines the impact of the ICF/MR regulations on the quality of life for people living in small group situations. It explores QOL with respect to individuals who live in small ICF/MR and non-ICF/MR residential settings and their total quality of life scores, empowerment/independence, satisfaction, and social belonging/community integration as measured by the Quality of Life Questionnaire. Participants' quality of life was rated using the Quality of Life Questionnaire (Schalock & Keith, 1993). The data from this assessment were analyzed using a discriminant function analysis for the Quality of Life Questionnaire ( QOL.Q) subscales and an independent t-test for the total score. The results indicated that those living in non-ICF/MR group homes felt somewhat more empowered than those living in ICF/MR group homes. There were no differences in satisfaction, social belonging/community integration or total quality of life scores. This implies that federal regulations do not significantly enhance quality of life in small group homes. Both state and federal governments need to look at alternative means to provide funding that allow individuals to determine what type of living situation is best for themselves. ^