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Staffs’ knowledge and perceptions of working with women with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders

Taggart, Laurence, Millan, Roni and Lawson, Annette (2010) Staffs’ knowledge and perceptions of working with women with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54 (1). pp. 90-100. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123208663/issue

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01211.x


There is a growing evidence of the physicaland mental health inequalities in people with intellectualdisability (ID) although less has beenwritten concerning the mental health of womenwith ID (International Association for the ScientificStudy of Intellectual Disabilities). This is comparedwith the substantive literature published withinmainstream psychiatry on gender.The aim of thisstudy was to explore a range of health and socialcare staffs’ knowledge and perceptions of caring forwomen with ID who have mental health problemsfocusing upon risk and resilient/protective factors.Method A qualitative methodology was used. Eightfocus groups were conducted with hospital, communityand residential staff across one region of theUK. The focus groups were audiotaped and thetranscriptions were subjected to a thematic contentanalysis using Newell & Burnard’s framework.Findings Six inter-related risk factors were identifiedby the participants as potential causes for thewomen with ID to develop a mental illness andthese were: having an ID and being female, unmetexpectations, dysfunctional family upbringing,unstable relationships/loss of children, domestic violenceand negative life experiences. Few of the participantsacknowledged hormonal issues as a riskfactor. Resilient/protective factors included beingproactive, greater community participation, earlyrecognition and mental health maintenance.Conclusion These results are discussed in light ofcurrent developments and policy within mainstreampsychiatric gender approaches. Greater recognitionof a proactive health approach for both staff andwomen with an ID is recommended.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research
Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
ID Code:6515
Deposited By: Dr Laurence Taggart
Deposited On:29 Jan 2010 12:44
Last Modified:23 Jul 2012 14:15

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