Health Professionals' Education Related to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Scoping Review



Background: People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are among the most underserved in an inequitable healthcare system.

Methods: Using Arksey and O'Malley's methodology and a social determinants of health framework, we conducted a scoping review of literature on the state of practice in education of healthcare professionals in the health and healthcare needs of this population.

Results: Searches found 4948 articles, with 182 included in the final review. Themes identified included gaps of not being informed by workforce needs, continued use of the medical model of care, not addressing intersectionality with racial/ethnic and other discriminations, and lack of involvement of the population in developing/evaluating programs and promising trends of development of competency-based interprofessional programs with experiential learning.

Conclusion: We provide recommendations for best practices in a concerted effort to educate a healthcare workforce equipped with the knowledge and skills to address the health needs of this population.

Suggested Citation

Ailey, S. H., Molly, B., Tichá, R., Abery, B., Khuu, B. K., & Angel, L. (2024). Health professionals’ education related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A scoping review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 37(3).


Peer-Reviewed Article 


  • Health and safety
    • Healthcare
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)