Training which includes the supervised completion of a healthcare questionnaire for people with an intellectual disability, as part of medical students' Primary Care course.

Peju Raji (UK), Malcolm McCoubrie (UK), Wendy Perez (UK), Jackie Downer (UK) and Sheila Hollins (UK)

Although people with intellectual disabilities have ordinary health care needs and rights of access to health services, their health outcomes fall short when compared with outcomes for people who do not have intellectual disabilities.
The barriers to accessing effective health services which must be lowered or removed arise from

  • the learning and communication difficulties of people with intellectual disabilities and
  • the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of health professionals.

    Fourth year medical students in St. George's, University of London are trained in communication skills by people with intellectual disabilities and clinicians. Part of this training includes the supervised completion of a basic healthcare check with a person with an intellectual disability. This involves the use of a "health check questionnaire" alongside other clinical procedures. The questionnaire was devised by a General Practitioner and two people with intellectual disabilities employed by the Division of Mental Health as Training Advisors.

    Using the "St. George's Health Check Questionnaire" alerts the medical students to the importance of being proactive in attending to the primary health care needs of people with intellectual disabilities. A wide range of new health problems and old ones not receiving attention are usually found. This information is shared with the people with intellectual disabilities, their families or support personnel, and as importantly, their General Practitioner. It should be noted that the "St. George's Health Check Questionnaire" was developed and is used for the purposes of medical education in primary care. It is not a free-standing instrument for use in isolation from primary care.


    If you have difficulty opening this file you may need to install Adobe Reader on your computer.
    This can be downloaded free of charge from the Adobe website.

    How are you feeling now? 

    Have you any long standing health problems?

    If yes, give details

    Are you allergic to anything?

    If yes, give details

    Do you need help to go out?

    If yes, give details

    Have you seen anyone for help with worries or feelings recently?
    If yes, give details

    When did you last see your own doctor?

    Do you take medicine or tablets from the doctor often?

    If yes, give details

    Do you buy other medicines or drugs?

    If yes, give details

    Do you smoke?
    If yes, give details
    Have you had injections?Tick boxes, putting dates if known  

    As a child



    Hepatitis A/B



    Has anyone you know died recently?
    Give details

    Have any near relatives died young?
    Give details if aged less than 60
    If you have problems in any of these different areas
    Tell us about them

    Moving about



    Teeth, Mouth

    Skin, Hair, Nails, Feet

    Going to the toilet (Bowels, Bladder)

    Heart Thumping

    Eating, Weight

    Birth Control, Periods

    Fits or Turns


    Pain or Soreness

    Women's health
    Birth Control, Periods, Discharge

    Most recent Smear test?
    (Women 18-70 yrs only)

    Most recent Mammogram (Breast Test)?
    (Women 50-70 yrs only)

    Men's health
    lumps and bumps down below, discharge, birth control

    If there's anything else you think we should know
    Mention it here
This article first appeared on the site in 2002.