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The benefits of environmental change in a secure service for people with intellectual disabilities

Clive G. Long (Associate Director of Psychology and Psychological Therapies, based at St Andrew's Academic Centre, Kings College London Institute of Psychiatry, Northampton, UK and Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK)
Natalie Bell (Assistant Psychologist in the Women's Service, based at St Andrew's, Northampton, UK)
Alison Carr (Unit Manager, based at St Andrew's, Northampton, UK)
Lisa Cairns (Clinical Services Manager, based at St Andrew's, Northampton, UK)
Amanda Webb (Assistant Psychologist, based at St Andrew's, Northampton, UK)
Lesley Collins (Director for Operations, based at St Andrew's, Northampton, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 26 August 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the behavioural and psychological effects on people with intellectual disabilities of transferring to an environment influenced by patient choice and low secure standards.

Design/methodology/approach

Patients and staff transferring from a non-optimal environment to one driven by low secure standards compared the homeliness, ward climate and satisfaction with the two wards. Comparisons were made between the occurrences of risk behaviours on the two wards.

Findings

The new environment was rated by staff as more homely while patients’ increased satisfaction with the new ward was reflected in social climate ratings of patient cohesion and experienced safety. The latter findings were reinforced by an objective reduction in risk behaviours in the new environment.

Practical implications

Treatment interventions need to optimise research findings that attest to the influence of the environment on the behaviour of patients with intellectual disabilities.

Originality/value

Findings highlight need to increase the focus on aspects of the built environment in planning the treatment of women in secure care.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the contribution of patients who agreed to participate in this evaluation. There was no external research funding for this study.

Citation

G. Long, C., Bell, N., Carr, A., Cairns, L., Webb, A. and Collins, L. (2014), "The benefits of environmental change in a secure service for people with intellectual disabilities", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 8 No. 5, pp. 309-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-11-2013-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited