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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2019

Arvid Nikolai Kildahl, Maria Hagen Engebretsen, Kristin Horndalsveen, Jane Margrete Askeland Hellerud, Jorunn Ytrehorn Wiik, Gro Aasen and Sissel Berge Helverschou

Psychiatric assessment in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) is complex and challenging. With co-occurring congenital blindness…

Abstract

Purpose

Psychiatric assessment in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) is complex and challenging. With co-occurring congenital blindness, this complexity is increased. Systematic knowledge about psychiatric assessment in this combination of challenges is virtually non-existing, and there is little guidance available for clinicians faced with this task. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Experiences from comprehensive psychiatric assessments in two adults with congenital blindness, ASD, and ID are explored and discussed.

Findings

Adaptation of assessment procedures usually employed for individuals with ASD and ID involved no major alteration, but co-operation between mental health and visual impairment professionals was important, as was the involvement of the families of the individuals in question. In both cases, the patient met criteria for an anxiety disorder, underlining the vulnerability and the challenges involved in living with this combination of challenges.

Research limitations/implications

There is an urgent need for research into mental health issues for this group, including case studies describing successful treatment or intervention for these issues.

Practical implications

Psychiatric assessment in individuals with this combination of challenges may be feasible, but requires involvement of professionals specializing in mental health in developmental disabilities, and professionals in visual impairment. Assessments need to be individually adapted.

Originality/value

This is the first study systematically describing psychiatric assessment in this group involving the use of checklists and assessment tools. Strategies and tools that were useful are described and discussed to aid other clinicians faced with similar challenges.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Jane Margrete Askeland Hellerud and Trine Lise Bakken

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the families’ and professional caregivers’ experience of mental health services for patients in the migrant population with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the families’ and professional caregivers’ experience of mental health services for patients in the migrant population with intellectual disability (ID).

Design/methodology/approach

To highlight this rarely studied topic, the authors chose a qualitative approach, using a semi-structured interview guide. The authors performed a search for relevant articles. Three families of former patients of a specialized psychiatric inpatient unit and 12 professional caregivers were interviewed. The interviews were taped, transcribed and analyzed using a thematic analysis.

Findings

In total, 17 themes from the families’ answers and 14 themes from the caregivers’ answers were grouped into four main themes each. Two main themes were identical for both groups: perspectives on mental illness and “the Norwegian system.” Additionally, the families were concerned about the impact on the patient and family and coping strategies. The caregivers highlighted patient–caregiver interaction and family–caregiver interaction.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should include the patients’ opinions based on the findings of this study. Also, studies including larger samples from both specialist services and community services are needed to develop evidence-based services for these patients.

Practical implications

Proposed adaptations to enable assessment and treatment of mental illness in migrants with ID should be adapted to cultural preferences. The following adaptations are proposed: inclusion of the entire family, awareness of cultural dimensions, information about the health care system, education in mental illness, the use of interpreters and adequate time spent with the families.

Originality/value

Mental health services for this group are an understudied topic. Clinical experience indicates that professionals struggle when providing services for such patients.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

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