Adriana Castelo Taboada - The effects of familial intellectual disability on labour force participation and family income in Australia

  • Presenting author: Adriana Castelo Taboada (GenIMPACT: Centre for Economic Impacts of Genomic Medicine)

  • Authors: Deborah Schofield*, Adriana Castelo Taboada*, Owen Tan, Rupendra Shrestha, Jackie Boyle, Louise Christie, Hannah Thompson, Tony Roscoli, Natalie Hart, Sarah West and Mike Field. *Joint first author

  • Session: C04A - Health [4] - Wednesday 16:00-17:00 - Ceremonial Hall

  • Slides: PDF

Intellectual disability (ID) is among the most important unmet challenges in health care due to its prevalence, life-long nature, and frequent recurrence within families. Individuals with ID face challenges to enter the workforce, and their care can have a significant social and economic impact on their families. As part of the Australian Economic and Psychosocial Impacts of Caring for Families affected by Intellectual Disability (EPIC-ID) study, a microsimulation model, IDMOD, was developed to investigate the economic and social costs of ID. This model was based on a comprehensive questionnaire designed in collaboration with clinical and community organisation partners. Primary carers of patients referred to the Genetics of Learning Disability (GoLD) clinics were recruited to answer questions on behalf of themselves, their spouse, and their care recipient. Of the 207 families invited, 110 completed the questionnaire. This study is based on the data from the IDMOD microsimulation model. The EPIC-ID survey data were matched to records from the Static Incomes Model (STINMOD) to investigate the differences in labour force participation and income between individuals affected by ID and the general population. Individuals were synthetically matched to 30 STINMOD counterfactual comparators by age and sex. The odds of participating in the labour force were found to be significantly lower (P<0.001) for patients, carers and spouses compared to the general population. An intra-cohort multivariable logistic regression identified ID severity and the attainment of tertiary education as factors related to labour force participation. Employment and total income distributions were also found to be significantly lower (T-test P<0.001) for individuals affected by ID for patients, carers, and the carer’s spouse. There remains limited comprehensive research on labour impacts, income, and its associated factors for individuals with intellectual disability and their families. This study is the first Australian study to specifically survey a clinical cohort known to have a familial intellectual disability and model the impacts of intellectual disability on Australian labour force participation and income from a patient and familial perspective. The findings serve as evidence to be used for Australian policy review and updates related to intellectual disabilities and employment. Ethics Approval: The questionnaire was approved by the Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee (NSW HREC Reference No: HREC/16/HNE/309).