By Carli Friedman, CQL Director of Research
According to the Personal Outcome Measures®, for people to experience continuity and security, they must have resources to meet their basic needs, and the amount of change and disruption in their lives must be similar to nondisabled people (The Council on Quality and Leadership, 2017). During the COVID-19 pandemic, continuity and security was one of the outcomes that significantly reduced for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). For this reason, the aim of this study was to explore the impact of continuity and security on people’s quality of life. To do so, we analyzed Personal Outcome Measures® interviews from 325 people with IDD during the first year of the pandemic.
We found that when people with IDD experienced continuity and security they had a significantly better quality of life. Controlling for all demographic factors, people with IDD who experienced continuity and security had an average of 11.0 outcomes present, compared to people with IDD who did not experience continuity and security who had an average of 4.2 outcomes present.
Continuity and Security and Quality of Life
In fact, experiencing continuity and security significantly improved 14 out of 20 different quality of life areas of the Personal Outcome Measures®, ranging from health to community to relationships. For example, controlling for demographics, when people with IDD did not experience continuity and security, the probability of them exercising their rights was 17%; whereas, when people with IDD experienced continuity and security, the probability of them exercising their rights was 55%.
Impact of Continuity and Security on Other Areas of Quality of Life
“To promote people with IDD’s quality of life, efforts must be made to facilitate people with IDD’s continuity and security. Only 35% of the people with IDD in our study experienced continuity and security and only 39% had control over the changes in their lives to a similar degree as nondisabled people… Although continuity and security alone will not automatically result in a high quality of life, people with IDD will be hard pressed to have good quality of life without it. A stronger and more stable community infrastructure is needed to promote the continuity and security, and by extension, quality of life of people with IDD” (Friedman, 2022, pp. 108-109).
Continuity and Security: An Important Aspect of Quality of Life