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I'm not a patient, I'm a person: The Experiences of Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities and Challenging Behavior—A Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Studies



Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) and challenging behavior often have complex care needs and may be reliant on care support services. This thematic synthesis examines published qualitative research on the experiences of individuals with ID in relation to received service supports and interventions. Seventeen studies met criteria. Four themes emerged: (1) Imbalance of power, (2) Causal attributions about challenging behavior, (3) Experiences of restrictive interventions, and (4) Opportunities for improvement: proactive interventions. The accumulative stressors of living in a residential placement were regarded as a cause of continued challenging behaviors. The impersonal attitude of support staff was regarded as a major contributory factor. The findings can inform service providers about how best to support individuals with ID and challenging behavior.