Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


Approximately 6.5 million people are living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


PCORI has supported 87 research studies and other projects with a focus on intellectual and developmental disabilities. (As of February 2023)


PCORI has awarded about $114 million to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research studies and research-focused projects on intellectual and developmental disabilities. (As of February 2023)

PCORI funds research to help people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) and those who care for them, like their family members and doctors, have more information to make the best healthcare decisions they can, improve healthcare delivery, and reduce health disparities.

A Multipronged Approach to Improving Health and Well-Being for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
Funding high-priority research Building capacity for PCOR
  • Full range of research awards and evidence synthesis projects
  • Identification of short- and long-term evidence gaps and priorities
  • Engagement awards
  • Community-building projects
  • Workforce awards
  • PCORnet® infrastructure awards
Dissemination and implementation activities Enhancing efficiency and research design
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of findings from PCORI-funded research
  • Promoting changes in practice based on evidence from PCORI-funded studies
  • Understanding and providing guidance on methodologic issues
  • Increasing engagement in research

PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs)

Spotlights: Ongoing Studies and Projects

Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions

Congress Identifies Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as Research Priority

As part of the 2019 legislation that reauthorized PCORI’s funding for 10 years, Congress included research on intellectual and developmental disabilities as a priority research topic.

Evidence Updates from PCORI-Funded Studies

Antipsychotics for Children with Hyperactivity or Disruptive Disorders

Clinicians often prescribe antipsychotics for children and adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders (DICDs). A review of research studies weighed the benefits and harms of antipsychotic treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD and DICDs.

View the Evidence Update

Topic Briefs

Treatment for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disturbances Among Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Many IDDs are associated with increased risk for sleep disorders, which can contribute to or exacerbate cognitive or behavioral issues and cause stress for people with IDD and their caregivers. This topic brief aims to identify existing evidence for interventions to treat sleep disorders in children or adults with IDD.

View the Topic Brief

PCORI Stories

Breaking Down Barriers for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

Read about a world-famous puppeteer and a community activist who bring their firsthand experiences with disabilities to a PCORI-funded project to provide easier access to community venues for children with IDDs and their families.

Read the Story

Featured Videos

Advancing Health Equity through Research on Transitions for People with IDD

2022 PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting
October 26, 2022

Engaging People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Research

2021 PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting
November 18, 2021

Stakeholder Meetings/Workshops

PCORI-hosted stakeholder meetings and workshops offer the opportunity to gain insights and perspectives from members of different stakeholder communities. Watch these webinars to learn more.