Multidisciplinary Care for Children with Down syndrome in the Netherlands: A Modular Perspective

Main Article Content

Vincent J.T. Peters


Down syndrome is a complex congenital condition and the most prevalent genetic cause of intellectual disability in humans. Although people with Down syndrome share a typical appearance, intellectual disability, and delayed motor development, each individual with Down syndrome is unique. In addition, many individuals with Down syndrome experience various comorbidities, therefore, people with Down syndrome have complex healthcare needs. The prevalence and severity of these comorbidities varies. This makes individuals with Down syndrome a very diverse and heterogeneous patient group from an early age, despite their common genetic background (trisomy 21). Providing adequate healthcare and interventions in the early life of individuals with Down syndrome improves physical and mental development. In the Netherlands, 22 pediatric outpatient clinics organize multidisciplinary team appointments (so-called "Downteams") to address the complex healthcare needs of children with Down syndrome. In this study, we present the healthcare provided by these multidisciplinary teams in a modular way and show that this modular approach results in improved healthcare provision for children with DS.

Keywords: Down syndrome, Multidisciplinary Care for Children with Down syndrome, Down syndrome in the Netherlands, the Netherlands, Multidisciplinary Care for Children with Down syndrome in the Netherlands

Article Details

How to Cite
PETERS, Vincent J.T.. Multidisciplinary Care for Children with Down syndrome in the Netherlands: A Modular Perspective. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 3, mar. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 apr. 2024. doi:
Research Articles


1. Sherman SL, Allen EG, Bean LH, Freeman SB. Epidemiology of Down syndrome. Ment. Retard. Dev. Disabil. Res. Rev. 2007;13:221-227.
2. Bull MJ. Down syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;382(24):2344-2352.
3. Weijerman ME, de Winter JP. Clinical practice: The care of children with Down syndrome. European Journal of Pediatrics. 2010;169(12):1445-1452.
4. Peters VJT, Meijboom BR, Bunt JEH, Bok LA, van Steenbergen MW, et al. Providing person-centered care for patients with complex healthcare needs: A qualitative study. PLOS ONE. 2020;15(11): e0242418.
5. Stichting Downsyndroom. Downsyndroom teams. (n.d.). Retrieved from
6. Borstlap R, van Gameren-Oosterom H, Weijerman M, van Wieringen H, van Wouwe J. Een update van de multidisciplinaire richtlijn voor de medische begeleiding van kinderen met Downsyndroom. 2011. Retrieved from
7. Voss CA, Hsuan J. Service architecture and modularity. Decision Sciences. 2009;40(3):541-569.
8. Rajahonka M. Views of logistics service providers on modularity in logistics services. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications. 2013;16(1):34-50.
9. de Blok C, Meijboom B, Luijkx K, Schols J, Schroeder R. Interfaces in service modularity: A typology developed in modular health care provision. Journal of Operations Management. 2014;32(4):175-189.
10. van Dam A, Metz M, Meijboom B. Improving customization in clinical pathways by using a modular perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11129.
11. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2006; 3(2):77-101.
12. MacDuffie JP. Modularity-as-Property, Modularization-as-Process, and ‘Modularity’-as-Frame: Lessons from product architecture initiatives in the global automotive industry. Global Strategy Journal, 2013;3:8-40.
13. Skotko BG, Davidson EJ, Weintraub GS. Contributions of a specialty clinic for children and adolescents with Down syndrome. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. 2013;161(3):430-437.
14. Tenenbaum A, Kastiel Y, Meiner Z, Kerem E. Multidisciplinary care of persons with Down syndrome in Jerusalem. International Journal on Disability and Human Development. 2008;7(3):355-358.
15. Lee NC, Chien YH, Hwu WL. Integrated care for Down syndrome. Congenital Anomalies. 2016;6(3):104-106.
16. World Health Organisation (WHO). (2015). People-centred and integrated health services: An overview of the evidence. Interim Report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organisation. Available at centredcare/evidence-overview/en/
17. Stichting Downsyndroom. Over de stichting. (n.d.). Retrieved from
18. Bartels EA, Meijboom BR, Nahar-van Venrooij LMW, de Vries E. How service modularity can provide the flexibility to support person-centered care and shared decision-making. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021; 21:1245.