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Objective. - To point out the proportion of intellectually disabled women (IDW) who are sterilised, and the medical and social factors associated with an increased probability to be sterilised. Study design. - A population-based study among 97% of IDW aged 18-46, attending government-accredited institutions in the region of Brussels-Capital and the province of Walloon Brabant (Belgium). Results. - Among the IDW included in this study, 22.2% are sterilised, which is superior to the 7% in the general Belgian population. Factors associated with an increased probability to be sterilised are: living in an institution, having a higher intellectual quotient (IQ), being enrolled in an institution where sexual intercourse is authorised and attending an institution where contraception is required. The last three factors are significant only among women living in institutions and the last two, only in women with severe disability. Among IDW using contraception, no factor was associated with a greater probability to be sterilised. Conclusion. - The prevalence of sterilisation among IDW is three times higher than that in the Belgian population and it is mainly correlated with factors related to the institution where these women live, especially the severely disabled. © 2004 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


European Psychiatry

Publication Date





428 - 432