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Mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities



Mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities



Current Opinion in Psychiatry 24(5): 372-376



This review summarizes recent research into psychiatric services for adults with intellectual disabilities, with a particular focus on inpatient care. People with intellectual disability appear to be admitted with more severe problems and receive more interventions than those without intellectual disability when admitted to general psychiatric units. Qualitative research has shown poor standards of care on some general psychiatric inpatient units. Studies of supported generic inpatient units have reported successful outcomes, supported by qualitative studies of satisfaction. Length of stay for people with intellectual disability is not consistently longer on specialist than general psychiatric units. Delayed discharge and restrictive practices, however, still need addressing. The important components of community mental health services have been evaluated from the points of view of psychiatrists, patients and carers. Emergency provision of psychiatric assessment and care remains a problem in some centres. There have been few randomized controlled trials in this field; however, uncontrolled comparisons and service evaluations suggest positive outcomes in specialist services. Qualitative work has made important contributions to understanding the patients' and carers' experiences. Further work should focus on the measurements of outcome and satisfaction.

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Accession: 054329973

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21825874

DOI: 10.1097/yco.0b013e3283472524


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