November is National Family Caregiver Month, and the NH Disability & Public Health (DPH) project has published a new Disability in Focus data brief which highlights the impact of family and informal caregivers and shares policy options to facilitate their contribution.

Drs. Kimberly Phillips, Andrew Houtenville, and Amanda Reichard had an article accepted in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.  NH Medicaid and commercial claims from 2010-2014 were used to study health care utilization of people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  The research showed that children, youth, and adults with IDD were more likely than people without IDD to visit the emergency department and to visit it more frequently.  The primary reasons for emergency department visits often differed by insurance type.  Also, Medicaid claimants with IDD are typically poorer and more rural than commercial beneficiaries, suggesting they may be more likely to face difficulties in accessing resources closely linked to health, including food, housing, and transportation to health care. 

Dr. Debra Brucker had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. The key finding is that individuals with disabilities are more likely to enter SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) after exiting employment compared to persons without disabilities. Non-working SNAP participants with and without disabilities who gain employment have similar likelihoods of continuing SNAP participation over a one-year period. As such, SNAP provides an important source of support to persons with disabilities who experience changes in employment.

Dr. Joan Beasley, Luke Kalb, Dr. Ann Klein published Improving Mental Health Outcomes for Individuals With Intellectual Disability Through the Iowa START (I-START) Program in the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. The study explores strategies to improve outcomes by reporting one-year prospective investigation among individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs who received specialized supports from the I-START program (Iowa Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment) operating in a rural region of Iowa. For more info:

Dr. Debra Brucker had an article accepted by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal: Community mental health center staff attitudes about employment for persons with serious mental illness. An online survey was developed and sent to four community mental health centers in a New England state to assess employee views of employment as an outcome for clients with serious mental illness. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the survey responses revealed that staff were generally supportive of the benefits of work and the ability of clients to handle the demands of the worker role, but that staff had mixed views of client motivation to work.