Causes of and alternatives to medication for behaviours that challenge in people with intellectual disabilities: direct care providers' perspectives

Deb, Shoumitro (Shoumi) ORCID logoORCID:, Limbu, Bharati ORCID logoORCID:, Unwin, Gemma L. ORCID logoORCID: and Weaver, Tim ORCID logoORCID: (2022) Causes of and alternatives to medication for behaviours that challenge in people with intellectual disabilities: direct care providers' perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), 19 (16) , e9988. pp. 1-14. ISSN 1661-7827 [Article] (doi:10.3390/ijerph19169988)

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Behaviours that challenge (BtC), such as aggression and self-injury, are manifested by many people with intellectual disabilities (ID). National and international guidelines recommend non-pharmacological psychosocial intervention before considering medication to address BtC. Support staff play a pivotal role in the prescription process. Using coproduction, we developed a training programme for support staff, called SPECTROM, to give them knowledge and empower them to question inappropriate prescriptions and ask for the discontinuation of medication if appropriate and instead look for ways to help people with ID when they are distressed without relying on medication. We have presented data from two focus groups that we conducted during the development of SPECTROM: one that included support staff, and another that had service managers and trainers. In these focus groups, we explored participants’ views on the use of medication to address BtC with a particular emphasis on the causes of and alternatives to medication for BtC. Along with the participants’ views, we have also presented how we have addressed these issues in the SPECTROM resources.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Psychopathology in Neurodevelopmental Disorders: From Bench to Bedside
Keywords (uncontrolled): people with intellectual disabilities, the causes of behaviours that challenge, alternatives to medication for behaviours that challenge, social care services, support staff, service/home managers, trainers
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 35580
Notes on copyright: Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 09:33
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 13:40

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