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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 56 (2014) 7, 463 - 470

Essay

Diagnosing psychiatric disorders in people with (very) mild intellectual disabilities

J. Wieland, S. Kapitein, M. Otter, R.W.J. Baas

background There is a good chance that you, as a psychiatrist, will come in to contact with patients who have a borderline or mild intellectual disability (50 > iq < 85). Referral to specialised care is not always an option and may not always be necessary. However, diagnosing psychiatric disorders in these patients can present challenges.
aim To increase our knowledge about the diagnosing of psychiatric disorders in people with borderline or mild intellectual disabilities.
method In this article we describe some key considerations in making a diagnosis or a differential diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in people with an intellectual disability. results/ In the differential diagnosis of psychiatric symptoms and behavioral problems in persons with a
Results/conclusion borderline or mild intellectual disability, one needs to take into account the patient’s cognitive and social emotional level and any possible underlying somatic conditions; in addition, one must search for the cause of the intellectual disability paying attention to the context and the facilities offered by the care system.

keywords borderline intellectual functioning, diagnostics, mental health, mild intellectual disability