Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor

Global Public Health

Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


This paper reviews literature pertaining to the treatment of people with developmental disabilities. It will emphasize the inadequacies of health care in this population. The literature that will be discussed focuses on disparities in care via proxy, sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with disparities, assessing the needs of this population, the prevalence of disabilities in rural and urban settings, and the comparison of health disparities between adults with and without developmental disabilities.

For the purpose of this paper, a few terms will be defined. Developmental disabilities (DD) will be defined as “a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas…[that] begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime” (CDC, 2021). A person is said to have an intellectual disability (ID) when they have “certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social, and self-care skills” (Special Olympics, 2021). Intellectual disability is a type of developmental disability.