Exploring how to deliver videoconference-mediated psychological therapy to adults with an intellectual disability during the coronavirus pandemic

Gregg Harry Rawlings (Clinical Psychology Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Christopher Gaskell (Clinical Psychology Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Keeley Rolling (Barnsley Adult Learning Disability Health Service, South West Yorkshire Partnership Nhs Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK)
Nigel Beail (Clinical Psychology Unit, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK and Barnsley Adult Learning Disability Health Service, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Publication date: 26 January 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The novel coronavirus and associated restrictions have resulted in mental health services across the UK having to adapt how they deliver psychological assessments and interventions. The purpose of this paper is to explore the accessibility and prospective acceptability of providing telephone and videoconference-mediated psychological interventions in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of a service evaluation, a mixed-methods questionnaire was developed and completed by clients who had been referred for psychological therapy at an adult intellectual disabilities’ community health service in the north of England. All clients were assessed using the Red/Amber/Green (RAG) system by a consultant clinical psychologist for risk and potential suitability for indirect service delivery given their ability and needs.

Findings

Overall, 22 clients were invited to take part, of which, only seven (32%) were accepting of telephone or videoconference-mediated psychological therapy. Most of the clients were unable to engage in video-conference therapy and therefore, only suitable for phone therapy. This paper presents the remaining findings and discusses the clinical implications and unique considerations for intellectual disability services drawing on the existing literature.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that the authors are aware of, examining videoconference-mediated psychological therapy in this population. It is hoped the data will be used to help inform practice or policy when using such therapeutic approaches in adults with an intellectual disability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank those clients who have taken part for their involvement and for allowing the authors to learn from their experiences.Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.Conflict of Interests: No conflict of interest to report.

Citation

Rawlings, G.H., Gaskell, C., Rolling, K. and Beail, N. (2021), "Exploring how to deliver videoconference-mediated psychological therapy to adults with an intellectual disability during the coronavirus pandemic", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 20-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-06-2020-0014

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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