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What characteristics do service users with intellectual disability value in direct support staff within residential forensic services?

By Rachael Clarkson, Glynis H Murphy, Jon B Coldwell and David L Dawson


Background This study explores the perceptions of a group of adults with intellectual disability regarding direct support staff.\ud Method Semi-structured interviews relating to experiences of direct support staff were developed from two focus\ud groups. These interviews were conducted with 11 adults with intellectual disability residing within a forensic inpatient\ud service.\ud Results Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) revealed two superordinate themes; namely, staff relationship\ud factors and positive and negative attributes of staff. The participants valued relationships with staff based on\ud qualities such as honesty, trust, and a caring, nurturing manner that enabled individuals to feel safe. Staff characteristics\ud such as immaturity, inexperience, and a short temper appeared to lead to feelings of discontentment amongst the\ud participants.\ud Conclusions The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to clinical practice, staff recruitment, and training

Topics: C800 Psychology, C810 Applied Psychology, C840 Clinical Psychology
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.3109/13668250903285630
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