Social inclusion is regarded as an important determinant of health, particularly for young adults with intellectual disabilities. However, only a limited number of reviews report on the findings of original empirical studies on social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities. This review provides a succinct synopsis of original empirical studies on social inclusion among young adults with intellectual disabilities for the period between January 2013 and January 2019.
Studies were drawn from three electronic databases: ScienceDirect, PubMed and PsycINFO. In addition, hand searches were carried out in several international journals focusing on intellectual disability research. The review included both qualitative and quantitative studies. In all, 24 key studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. The Methodological Quality Checklist developed by Downs and Black (Journal of Epidemiology Community Health , 1998, 52, 377) was used to independently assess study quality, and the Cochrane Collaboration Intervention Clinical Appraisal Form was used to extract data and outcome measures for each study.
Among the key findings, structured and organized social inclusion interventions were reported to create better opportunities to engage in social interactions and improve social skills. Moreover, evaluating outcomes on the two core quality‐of‐life domains, that of interpersonal relationships and community participation, were reported to facilitate positive outcomes for social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities.
There is a need to do an in‐depth exploration of the potential impact of facilitators that promote social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities, by conducting rigorous empirical investigations.