Services are increasingly exploring the use of remote conferencing to deliver psychological interventions, which have become particularly important given the COVID-19 pandemic and infection control guidelines. This paper aims to explore the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of delivering psychological therapy remotely to adults with intellectual disabilities (ID).
As part of routine practice within an adult ID community health service, this paper develops a six-session programme based on compassion-focused therapy (CFT) and delivered it to six clients. Clients completed the psychological therapy outcome scale for ID 2nd edition, at assessment, pre- and post-therapy, as well as a feasibility and acceptability measure.
Six clients engaged in telephone therapy; four clients individually, while the remaining two were supported by their caregiver. Most clients found the intervention helpful, enjoyable and were pleased that they received telephone-delivered psychological therapy. A reduction was observed at post-therapy in distress (g = 0.33) and risk (g = 0.69). No difference was reported in psychological well-being. Five clients were subsequently discharged from psychological therapy.
To the knowledge, this is the first study examining the use of telephone therapy (including CFT) for individuals with ID. Findings add to the growing evidence suggesting individuals with ID can benefit from receiving adapted psychological therapies. Research is required to further explore the effectiveness of remote-therapies, who would most likely benefit from this approach and how remote treatments could be used within existing pathways.
The authors wish to thank clients and their caregivers for allowing them to use their data for the purpose of this service evaluation.There was no funding associated with this evaluation.
Rawlings, G.H., Wright, K.P., Rolling, K. and Beail, N. (2021), "Telephone-delivered compassion-focused therapy for adults with intellectual disabilities: a case series", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 15 No. 2/3, pp. 89-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-12-2020-0035
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