Naturalistic Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2005
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 245–251, September 2005
How to Cite
Beail, N., Warden, S., Morsley, K. and Newman, D. (2005), Naturalistic Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 18: 245–251. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2005.00223.x
- Issue online: 8 JUN 2005
- Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2005
- Accepted for publication 30 September 2004
- intellectual disabilities;
Background Despite repeated calls for research on the efficacy and effectiveness of psychotherapy with people with intellectual disabilities there has been little progress in this area. This paper reports a naturalistic study of the effectiveness of individual psychodynamic psychotherapy provided in routine clinical practice.
Method The study was an open trial design with a 3-month follow-up period. Widely available and used psychotherapy outcome measures were adopted, but administered in an assisted completion format at intake, outcome and follow-up. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA. Effect sizes were also computed.
Results The results show statistically significant reductions in recipients’ levels of psychological distress and interpersonal problems and an increase in self-esteem. Effect sizes were modest to large.
Conclusions The study shows that adults with intellectual disabilities can benefit from individual psychotherapy provided in routine clinical practice. The method has obvious limitations because of its uncontrolled, open trial design. However, the study had a recipient group that represents the client population and thus has greater generalisability to clinical practice. This study also provides some suggestions for routine audit and evaluation exercises and more rigorous designs.