Specialist versus generic models of psychiatry training and service provision for people with intellectual disabilities

Gillian Jess, Jennifer Jayne Torr, Sally-Ann Cooper, Nicholas Lennox, Nicole Edwards, Jennifer Marie Galea, Gregory O'Brien

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    Background Models of service provision and professional training differ between countries. This study aims to investigate a specialist intellectual disabilities model and a generic mental health model, specifically comparing psychiatrists knowledge and competencies, and service quality and accessibility in meeting the mental health needs of people with intellectual disabilities. Method Data were collected from consultant and trainee psychiatrists within a specialist intellectual disabilities model (UK) and a generic mental health model (Australia). Results The sample sizes were 294 (UK) and 205 (Australia). Statistically significant differences were found, with UK participants having positive views about the specialist intellectual disabilities service model they worked within, demonstrating flexible and accessible working practices and service provision, responsive to the range of mental health needs of the population with intellectual disabilities, and providing a wide range of treatments and supports. The UK participants were knowledgeable, well trained and confident in their work. They wanted to work with people with intellectual disabilities. In all of these areas, the converse was found from the Australian generic mental health service model. Conclusions The specialist intellectual disabilities model of service provision and training has advantages over the generic mental health model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183 - 193
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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