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The need for cognitive profiles based on neuropsychological assessments to drive individual education plans (IEPs) in forensic settings

Graham Lowings (Department of Neuropsychology, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK)
Beth Wicks (Beth Wicks Consultancy Limited, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 30 November 2012

227

Abstract

Purpose

Many people within secure forensic settings are expected to take part in psycho‐educational programmes as part of their treatment and rehabilitation. Many are hampered in their progress due to cognitive difficulties. This paper aims to outline the scale of the problem and to offer potential solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The numbers of people who are placed in secure settings with known neuropsychological difficulties and the range of their cognitive problems are explored. It is proposed that individual education plans based on neuropsychological profiles together with guidance on the preparation and delivery of educational materials could improve the efficacy of psycho‐educational programmes.

Findings

Many people within the secure forensic estate have neuropsychological deficits. Many have suffered traumatic or other acquired brain injury or have deficits associated with substance misuse or even childhood emotional trauma. Others have cognitive difficulties specific to their mental health and occasionally their prescribed medication. A significant number will have intellectual disability (IQ<70) or be within the borderline range (IQ between 70 and 79).

Originality/value

Understanding neuropsychological difficulties would mean that best use is made of the psycho‐educational materials presented, thus speeding up and improving the efficacy of the rehabilitation process and potentially reducing the risk that the person poses to themselves and others. There are resources, which offer guidance to teachers of children with neuropsychological difficulties but not for the adolescent and adult forensic population. This paper addresses this gap.

Keywords

Citation

Lowings, G. and Wicks, B. (2012), "The need for cognitive profiles based on neuropsychological assessments to drive individual education plans (IEPs) in forensic settings", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221211287190

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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