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Psychotherapy with persons with intellectual disabilities: a review of effectiveness research

H. Thompson Prout (Professor based at the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Brooke K. Browning (Doctoral Student based at the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 16 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an update on the effectiveness of psychotherapy with persons with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focused on summarizing the conclusions of other reviews published in the last ten years, including a recent review by the authors.

Findings

The paper concludes that there is evidence that psychotherapy with persons with intellectual disabilities is at least moderately effective. Further, there is evidence of effectiveness of psychotherapy for both child and adolescent, and adult populations. There is also evidence that a range of therapeutic interventions are effective and that a spectrum of problems can be addressed via psychotherapy.

Research limitations/implications

This area has received relatively little attention in the research literature and the area lacks a large base of methodologically sound and rigorous studies. There is a need for well‐designed studies, particularly randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and a need for better specification of treatments (e.g. manualized), better outcome measures, and clearer specification of diagnostic categories within the intellectual disability population.

Practical implications

This review provides continued support for the use of psychotherapy with persons with intellectual disabilities.

Originality/value

This review appears to represent the most current overview of research in this area.

Keywords

Citation

Thompson Prout, H. and Browning, B.K. (2011), "Psychotherapy with persons with intellectual disabilities: a review of effectiveness research", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 5 No. 5, pp. 53-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441281111180673

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited