Get access

Audit of group-based activities in an inpatient assessment and treatment unit for individuals with learning disabilities



Accessible summary

  • A series of stand-alone groups were offered on an assessment and treatment ward for adults with learning disabilities.
  • The group ran for 9 weeks and involved session themes of relaxation, sensory and physical activities.
  • All individuals involved reported to have found the sessions useful and enjoyable.
  • All staff involved reported that the sessions were helpful for the participants.
  • The sessions helped individuals to improve their mood following the session.
  • The sessions provided a practical way of introducing therapeutic activity to the ward and developing therapeutic relationships.


This audit is intended to investigate the effectiveness of a series of stand-alone groups delivered on an inpatient unit for individuals with learning disabilities. Our ward is a specialist assessment and treatment unit that provides brief admissions for clients with a learning disability, mental health difficulties and/or challenging behaviour. The aim of the unit is to develop an understanding of the presenting difficulties, formulate an appropriate intervention plan and implement this with the aim of successfully discharging the client back into the community following the shortest possible admission. Group interventions facilitated on the unit were drawn from a variety of evidence and best practice guidelines relating to specific interventions for individuals with a learning disability (Adv Psychiatr Treat, 11, 2005, 355) and more general interventions within inpatient settings (Clin Psychol Forum, 2009, 200). Nine sessions focused on a variety of relaxation, sensory and physical activity tasks. The objective of the audit is to investigate to what extent these interventions are perceived as helpful and enjoyable by clients and by staff, to investigate any positive effect on client's mood and to determine whether any particular activities were rated more favourably than others. Additional aims of the audit are to further understand some of the practical issues related to delivering group-based interventions in an inpatient environment, to engage ward staff in the delivery of therapeutic activity and to investigate the use of groups as an effective way of developing therapeutic relationships.

Get access to the full text of this article