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Modifications in therapy for patients with severe mental illness and intellectual disability: a qualitative study

I. Berger, M. van der Hout, A.M.C.H. Hoogenboom, E. Berger, C.L. Mulder

BACKGROUNDIn ambulant psychiatric care, intellectual disability (id) is often not recognised. Therefore, a Screener for Intelligence and Learning disabilities (scil) was recently introduced to assist recognition. However, because, current therapy is not adjusted for id-related problems, its effectiveness remains unknown. AIMTo gain insight into adequate adaptation of interventions by professionals for patients with severe mental illness (smi) and id, to improve the quality of care without the need to develop a completely new program of therapy. METHODA qualitative design (n=15) including 8 interviews and one focus group, among psychiatric practitioners and id experts. RESULTSFive main themes were identified to adjust therapy: treatment, communication, inclusion of the network, estimation of support needs and self-management. CONCLUSIONTo align therapy with the requirements of patients with smi and id, a patient-oriented approach to care is necessary. Simple but effective modifications, summarised in a toolkit, appear to contribute to this. To offer appropriate care to patients with smi and id, attention is needed for both a supportoriented and a recovery-oriented approach. TIJDSCHRIFT KEY WORDSintellectual disability, self-management, severe mental illness, support needs