The purpose of this paper is to outline what is known about the prevalence, causes and treatment of depression for people with learning disabilities, with a focus on psychosocial interventions.
This is a narrative review, and will provide evidence-based guidance for practitioners and those managing service delivery.
Depression is just as prevalent among people with learning disabilities as it is in the wider population and they are frequently exposed to known vulnerability factors for low mood such as lack of social support and purposeful activity. Yet there remains a paucity of evidence about effective interventions for depression.
Growing evidence about the effectiveness of psychological interventions for people with learning disabilities and depression is promising but insufficient. To make meaningful change, there also needs to be an implementation strategy that encompasses the broader context of people’s lives, including family, care and work settings.
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