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Mainstream in-patient mental health care for people with intellectual disabilities: service user, carer and provider experiences

Background  Government guidelines promote the use of mainstream mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities whenever possible. However, little is known about the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities who use such services.

Materials and Methods  Face-to-face interviews with service users, carers and community nurses were completed and analysed on a case by case basis using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The results were followed up in focus groups with service providers.

Results  Positive aspects included the provision of respite, particularly for carers, and good basic care. These were outweighed by a perception of the admission as disempowering and lacking in flexible treatment provision. Accessing help emerged as a major problem, as well as the prospect of staff neglecting the specific needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Conclusions  While there were some indications of improvements in line with recent policies and guidance, mainstream services seem a long way off realizing aims of easy accessibility, person-centred practices and active partnership with intellectual disability services.

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Additional Titles
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
ISBN/ISSN
1468-3148;1360-2322
Resource Database
Social care online
Publication Year
2010
Issue Number
3
Volume Number
23
Start Page
214-225