Quality of life and mental health problems in adults with intellectual disabilities


This article was written by MICARE’s associate researcher Vanessa Vega, our young researcher Maryam Farhang, our research assistant Felipe Espinosa, our postdoctoral student Félix González, along with Izaskun Álvarez-Aguado, Herbert Spencer and Leyre Álvarez-Aguado.

This research corresponds to the postdoctoral study of Izaskun Álvarez-Aguado, as part of the FONDECYT DE POSTDOCTORADO ANID No. 3190675.

The number of people with intellectual disabilities and associated mental illness has increased considerably in recent years. This population presents greater obstacles than their peers without mental health problems in accessing education, leisure, and health services. This, conditions their quality of life (QoL) and makes them one of the most vulnerable groups in society. This study seeks to know the level of QoL of 181 people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems between the ages of 35 and 75, based on the perceptions of the professionals who work with them in different disability care services in Chile. The data were collected with the FUMAT scale.


  • The dimensions of self-determination and personal development obtained the lowest scores.
  • In addition, living in rural settings, receiving regular support, or being a man was associated with a better QoL.


It would be desirable to increase the frequency with which certain supports aimed at the population with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems are provided. Likewise, the exercise of informed and meaningful choices must be encouraged.

Foto de una mujer y un hombre jóvenes con discapacidad intelectual leyendo un libro