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Keywords:

  • evidence;
  • intellectual disabilities;
  • interventions;
  • psychological therapies

Abstract

Background

Psychological therapies with a proven efficacy in the general population are being adapted for use with people who have intellectual disabilities in community settings.

Methods

A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature published between 1980 and 2010 was carried out, to identify the evidence base for effective psychological interventions in challenging behaviour. Relevant databases were searched using applied key terms. Evidence was graded, according to the quality of the research. A best-evidence Matrix was produced to improve guidance for service providers and practitioners in the range, volume and quality of psychological interventions.

Results

There is a limited amount of efficacy research that meets the most stringent standards of empirical evidence.

Conclusions

It is important to broaden the evidence base and consider the context of psychological interventions, alongside the values underpinning care and treatment.