The role of practice leadership in active support: impact of practice leaders’ presence in supported accommodation services

Emma Bould, Julie Beadle-Brown, Christine Bigby, Teresa Iacono

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Research shows practice leadership to be a factor in the successful implementation of active support. The aim of the study was to explore differences in staff practice, associated with the presence of a practice leader in a shared supported accommodation service. Methods: Quality of support and engagement for 189 service users with intellectual disability from 58 services were collected during a 2 h observation using the EMAC-R and ASM. The practice leader was present in 19 services (n = 59) and absent in 39 (n = 111). An Observed Measure of Practice Leadership was administered during a second visit to each service. Results: When the practice leader was present, levels of engagement and active support were statistically higher (p < 0.01). Although measured at a different time, observed practice leadership was also higher in services where the practice leader was present during the first observation. Conclusion: The level of observed practice leadership and presence of the practice leader appear to be associated with better quality of support. This finding provides further evidence of the importance of systems for supporting, monitoring, modeling, and improving staff practice for effective implementation of active support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • active support
  • engagement
  • implementation
  • practice leadership
  • supported accommodation

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