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Journal article

Weighting the weights: agreement among anthropometric indicators identifying the weight status of people with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
VERSTRAELEN C. J. F., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22(3), May 2009, pp.307-313.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The aims of this study were (1) to determine to what extent body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fat free mass index (FFMI) and skinfold thickness are feasible measurement options in people with intellectual disabilities (ID) to measure their weight status, and (2) to assess the level of agreement among these methods. BMI, waist circumference, FFMI derived from the Bioelectrical Impedance Analyser and skinfold thickness were all determined in 76 people with intellectual disabilities. BMI and waist circumference could be measured in all subjects. Skinfold thickness and FFMI failed in, respectively, five and 14 people. In general, intertest reliabilities were low. For underweight people, the agreement was acceptable. BMI and waist circumference were feasible measurement options. Agreements among the methods were low. Implications of these results are discussed.

Journal article

Care staff perceptions of choking incidents: what details are reported?

Authors:
GUTHRIE Susan, LECKO Caroline, RODDAM Hazel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28(2), 2015, pp.121-132.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Background: Following a series of fatal choking incidents in one UK specialist service, this study evaluated the detail included in incident reporting. This study compared the enhanced reporting system in the specialist service with the national reporting and learning system. Methods: Eligible reports were selected from a national organisation and a specialist service using search terms relevant to adults with intellectual disability and/or mental ill health. Qualitative analysis was completed with comparison of themes identified in both sets of reports. Findings: The numbers of choking incidents identified in national reports suggest under-reporting compared with the specialist service and varying levels of severity. Themes included trends in timing, care setting and food textures as perceived by staff. Conclusions: This study demonstrates paucity of detail in reporting in systems without additional question prompts. Adding these questions requires staff to include greater detail which enables learning and risk mitigation to take place. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Measuring the actual levels and patterns of physical activity/inactivity of adults with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
FINLAYSON Janet, TURNER Angela, GRANAT Malcolm H.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24(6), November 2011, pp.508-517.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Adults with intellectual disabilities experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality associated with low levels of activity compared to the general population. Previous research on physical activity levels in this group suggests as few as 5% could be meeting the target levels of exercise deemed necessary for a healthy lifestyle. The aim of this pilot study was to objectively measure the levels and patterns of activity of adults with intellectual disabilities, to inform the design of studies aimed at increasing activity and health in this population. Interviews were conducted with 62 community-based adults from Glasgow with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities (mean age 37 years, 56.5% female). Participants were interviewed at the start and at the end of a 7-day period of physical activity/inactivity measurement using an activity monitor. Forty-one (66%) participants wore the activity monitor for at least 5 days. Of these, only 11 (27%) achieved the recommended 10 000 steps per day, and only six (15%) were achieving the recommended 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous activity at least 5 days per week. The data confirm the belief that adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities have low levels of physical activity.

Journal article

Research unpacked: damage limitation

Authors:
HESLOP Pauline, MACAULAY Fiona
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, 10(1), January 2010, pp.16-18.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

This article describes a study which looked at how people with learning disabilities who self-injure make sense of their self-injury and what they say would help most. Twenty-five people with learning disabilities and personal experience of self-injury took part in 1 to 4 research interviews between 2006 and 2008. All the participants were able to describe examples of circumstances leading up to their self-injury. These included external factors over which the participant had little control such as not being listened to, interpersonal factors such as being bullied, and internal factors caused for example by particular thoughts or memories. The participants identified the feelings they experienced before self-injuring, the most common being angry, sad, depressed, low, frustrated, or wound up. Over three-quarters of the participants considered that having someone to talk to who would listen to them would help, and also wanted someone to help look after their injuries. Being encouraged not to self-injure was considered helpful by some and unhelpful by others. The article concludes that the results challenge existing practice which considers that nothing can be done, and indicate the need to work with each person individually to help them use coping strategies. Creating conditions where people with learning disabilities have choice and control over their lives is also important.

Journal article

Weight status of persons with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
MAASKANT Marian A., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22(5), September 2009, pp.426-432.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The weight and weight status of a group of people with learning disabilities in the Netherlands were studied in 2002 and 2007, to examine the differences in weight and weight status between 2002 and 2007 and the risk groups for (becoming) overweight/obese. The mean increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) between 2002 and 2007 was 0.8 (2.2 kg). In 2002, 36% of the study group was overweight/obese; this was higher in 2007: 45%. The expected relationship between increase in BMI and the change in living circumstances could not be confirmed. Further research into health-control programmes, weight status, food-intake and physical exercise is recommended.

Journal article

Architects of reform

Author:
KAEHNE Axel
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, 9(5), July 2009, pp.34-36.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

Highlights the key themes from a series of research papers delivered at a round table summit involving academics and practitioners from the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany and Australia looking at what really improves lives for people with learning disabilities.

Journal article

Understanding predictors of low physical activity in adults with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
FINLAYSON Janet, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22(3), May 2009, pp.236-247.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Lack of regular physical activity is globally one of the most significant risks to health. The main aims of this study were to describe the types and levels of regular physical activity undertaken by adults with intellectual disabilities, and to investigate the factors predicting low activity. Interviews were conducted with a community-based sample of adults with intellectual disabilities (n = 433) at two time points. Data hypothesized to be predictive of low levels of activity were collected at time 1. Descriptive data were collected on the frequency and intensity, and actual level of participation in activities at time 2. Only 150 (34.6%) adults with intellectual disabilities undertook any regular activity of at least moderate intensity. This was of shorter duration, compared with the general population. Older age, having immobility, epilepsy, no daytime opportunities, living in congregate care and faecal incontinence were independently predictive of low levels of activity. These results are a step towards informing the development of interventions to promote the health of adults with intellectual disabilities through increased physical activity

Journal article

Resisting having learning disabilities by managing relative abilities

Authors:
MCVITTIE Chris, GOODALL Karen E., MCKINLAY Andy
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(4), December 2008, pp.256-262.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Previous research has shown that identities and the attributes from which identities are inferred are negotiated within social interaction and language. The identity of having learning disabilities is commonly associated with ascriptions of lesser abilities than other people, and in turn might be inferred from such abilities. This study examines how individuals, potentially ascribed with an identity of having learning disabilities, discursively manage the ascription of abilities and disabilities relative to other people. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with eight individuals attending a community centre in Edinburgh categorised as having learning disabilities. Interview transcripts were coded for all references to relative abilities and analysed using discourse analysis. The participants displayed three orientations towards abilities, namely (i) ascribing deficits to 'others', (ii) resisting comparisons of deficit and (iii) claiming 'normal' attributes. For the participants, these negotiations of relative abilities provide ways of managing specific aspects of identities associated with learning disabilities.

Journal article

Intellectual disability in homeless adults: a prevalence study

Authors:
OAKES Peter M., DAVIES Ros C.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 12(4), December 2008, pp.325-334.
Publisher:
Sage
Place of publication:
London

There has been considerable recent interest in the health and associated socio-economic inequalities faced by adults with learning disabilities. A serious and so far under-reported aspect of this is homelessness. This study sought to determine the prevalence of intellectual disability in a homeless population. Fifty people registered at a general practice in north-east England for socially excluded groups, and staying in temporary accommodation for the homeless during 2006-7, were assessed for learning disability. Full-scale and verbal IQ scores for the group were significantly lower than would be expected in the general population, but there was no significant difference in performance IQ. Homeless people are significantly more likely to have an intellectual disability than the general population. The implications for practice and policy development are far reaching. Further work is required to confirm these findings and to explore the experience of homeless people with intellectual disability.

Journal article

Challenging behaviours: prevalence and topographies

Authors:
LOWE K., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(8), August 2007, pp.625-636.
Publisher:
Wiley

Variations in reported prevalence of challenging behaviour indicate the need for further epidemiological research to support accurate planning of future service provision. All services providing for people with learning disabilities across seven unitary authorities, with a total population of 1.2 million, were screened to identify people with challenging behaviour. Interviews were conducted with primary carers to gain data on identified individuals' characteristics and support. Measures designed for a similar study conducted in Manchester University were incorporated to allow direct comparison with earlier findings, together with standardized tools to assess adaptive behaviour and social impairment. In total, 4.5 (2.5–7.5) people per 10,000 population were rated as seriously challenging, representing 10% (5.5–16.8%) of the learning disability population; the most prevalent general form was other difficult/disruptive behaviour, with non-compliance being the most prevalent topography. The majority showed multiple behaviours and multiple topographies within each general behaviour category. Also identified were substantial numbers of additional people reported as presenting challenging behaviours at lower degrees of severity. Prevalence rates for seriously challenging behaviours were comparable to those reported in the earlier studies, thus confirming previous findings. The prevalence of less serious challenging behaviour also has major clinical significance and emphasizes the need for enhanced understanding and skills among personnel within primary- and secondary-tier health, education and social care services, and for strengthening the capacity of community teams to provide behavioural expertise.

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