Maximizing the use of Special Olympics International's Healthy Athletes database: A call to action

Date

2018

Authors

Lloyda, Meghann
Foley, John T.
Temple, Viviene A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Research in Developmental Disabilities

Abstract

There is a critical need for high-quality population-level data related to the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities. For more than 15 years Special Olympics International has been conducting free Healthy Athletes screenings at local, national and international events. The Healthy Athletes database is the largest known international database specifically on the health of people with intellectual disabilities; however, it is relatively under-utilized by the research community. A consensus meeting with two dozen North American researchers, stakeholders, clinicians and policymakers took place in Toronto, Canada. The purpose of the meeting was to: 1) establish the perceived utility of the database, and 2) to identify and prioritize 3–5 specific priorities related to using the Healthy Athletes database to promote the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities. There was unanimous agreement from the meeting participants that this database represents an immense opportunity both from the data already collected, and data that will be collected in the future. The 3 top priorities for the database were deemed to be: 1) establish the representativeness of data collected on Special Olympics athletes compared to the general population with intellectual disabilities, 2) create a scientific advisory group for Special Olympics International, and 3) use the data to improve Special Olympics programs around the world. The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes database includes data not found in any other source and should be used, in partnership with Special Olympics International, by researchers to significantly increase our knowledge and understanding of the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Description

Keywords

Special Olympics, Healthy Athletes database, Administrative health data, Health, Consensus, Intellectual disability

Citation

Lloyda, M., Foley, J.T. & Temple, V.A. (2018). Maximizing the use of Special Olympics International's Healthy Athletes database: A call to action. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 73, 58-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2017.12.009