Body Composition in Adults With Intellectual Disabilities: Implications for Practice

Rachael Patusco, Laura Matarese, Jane Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Health care professionals require increased knowledge of health and disabilities to effectively implement health promotion initiatives at both the individual and group level for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The aim of this review is to examine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of various field-based measurements to assess body composition among adults with ID as compared to nondisabled controls. The literature was systematically searched from 1990 to 2017 for primary articles pertaining to the subject matter that were published in the English language and included only individuals ≥18 years of age. 1,989 studies were screened and 8 studies were included for review. Several field-based measurements for body composition are feasible and reliable yet none have been validated for use in adults with ID. Awareness of the various methods for assessing body composition in adults with ID in clinical practice, while simultaneously understanding their limitations, is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-895
Number of pages12
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


  • anthropometry
  • body composition
  • intellectual disabilities


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