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  2. The impact of caring for an adult with intellectual disability and psychiatric comorbidity on carer stress and psychological distress

The impact of caring for an adult with intellectual disability and psychiatric comorbidity on carer stress and psychological distress

Background: Given that carers of individuals with intellectual disability (ID) and carers of individuals with psychiatric disorders experience elevated levels of stress and psychological distress, carers of individuals with both ID and a comorbid psychiatric disorder are potentially at even greater risk for psychological difficulties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the psychological well-being of carers of adults with a dual diagnosis compared with carers of adults with intellectual disability alone.

Method: Four-hundred and forty-two questionnaires were sent to four community services and seventy-five family carers of adults with intellectual disability responded. Psychological well-being of carers was assessed using the Questionnaire on Resources and Stress – Friedrich edition (QRS-F) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). Comorbid psychopathology for their family member with ID was assessed using the Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behaviour (RSMB).

Results: Twenty-four percent of the individuals with ID were reported to have comorbid psychopathology. Between-group analyses compared carers of people with ID and comorbid psychopathology to carers of people with ID alone. Regression analyses examined the relationship between psychopathology and other care-related variables to carer stress and psychological distress. Carers of people with ID and comorbid psychopathology were found to have significantly higher levels of stress and psychological distress than carers of people with ID alone. Autism was found to be the only significant predictor of both stress and psychological distress among measures of psychopathology.

Conclusions: Additional comorbid psychopathology in individuals with intellectual disability has a significant impact on their carers’ psychological well-being.

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Additional Titles
Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Resource Database
Miscellaneous
Publication Year
2016
Issue Number
6
Volume Number
60
Start Page
553