Ohio’s Major Unusual Incidents (MUI) system works to ensures the health and safety of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. MUIs are alleged, suspected, or actual occurrence of an incident when there is a reason to believe the health or welfare of an individual may be adversely affected or an individual may be placed at a likely risk of harm and are reported to the county board of developmental disabilities and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Analysis of MUI data can be used to identify trends within agencies and geographical locations and foster interventions to strengthen the provision of services. A commonly held belief is that more MUIs occur during a full moon, so the Center for Epidemiology Research for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CERIIDD) conducted a preliminary data analysis to test that belief.
CERIIDD collected data from developmental disabilities service providers in Ohio (date and time of MUI, MUI type, and the age and gender of individual involved) on all of the MUIs their agency had for the calendar year of 2016. Events that are reported as an MUI include accidental or suspicious death, exploitation, failure to report, misappropriation, neglect, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, peer-to-peer acts, prohibited sexual relationships, rights codes violations, attempted suicide, natural death, medical emergencies, missing individuals, significant injury, unapproved behavior support, law enforcement engagement, and unscheduled hospitalizations. Eleven agencies from across the state submitted data totaling 1,376 MUIs. CERIIDD then compiled a list of the days with full moon dates for 2016 and compared it the list of the dates for the MUIs. CERIIDD analyzed MUI occurrence data for other factors as well.
All but one MUI type had at least one reported MUI in the data set. Top reported MUIs: Unscheduled hospitalization (30%), peer-to-peer acts (13%), neglect (12%), significant injury (10%), and unapproved behavior support (9%) (Figure 1). In almost every way CERIIDD sorted the data, unscheduled hospitalizations remained the MUI type with the highest number of records. Unscheduled hospitalizations remained the most reported MUI for full moon days (20%) and non-full moon days (30%), for males (25%) and females (35%), and remained the most reported MUI for all age groups except for individuals in their 30s.
More MUIs occurred on the weekdays than the weekend. The number of MUIs jumped the most between Sundays and Mondays, with Mondays having almost 70% more MUIs than Sundays (Figure 2). MUIs seem to cluster around the hour of 8 am (5%), between 2 pm and 4 pm (28%), and between 6 pm and 7 pm (12%). The hour of 3 pm had the most reported MUIs for a one-hour period (7%).
Full Moon Findings
Full moons occurred on 3.3% of days in 2016, while the number of MUIs on days with a full moon accounted for 4.4% of all MUIs. MUIs were only slightly more likely to happen on full moons than non-full moon days.
CERIIDD’s analysis shows there are some trends on when MUIs occur, however, the analysis does not definitively confirm the belief that MUIs occur on days with full moons. This study only reports on trends for the reported MUIs, so a larger data is needed to confirm if the trends are state-wide. As more data is collected and analyzed, providers will be able to use the information to identify common and develop appropriate and effective interventions. Developing such interventions may lead to a decreased risk of MUIs and increased health and safety of the individual’s providers support.