An investigation of the effects of bereavement on mental health and challenging behaviour in adults with learning disability.

  • MacHale R
  • Carey S
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Summary The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of bereavement on people with learning disability. Twenty adults with learning disabilities who had experienced the death of a primary caregiver in the previous 2 years were compared with a matched control group on measures of psychiatric disturbance and challenging behaviour. With regard to psychiatric disturbance, significant differences were found for ‘neurotic disorder’ and for ‘organic condition’ among the bereaved group on the Psychiatric Assessment Schedule for Adults with a Developmental Disability (PAS-ADD). No difference was found for ‘psychotic disorder’ on the PAS-ADD. As regards challenging behaviour, significant differences were found for ‘irritability’, ‘lethargy’ and ‘hyperactivity’ among the bereaved group on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC). No differences were found for ‘stereotypy’ or ‘inappropriate speech’ on the ABC. The clinical implications of these findings are outlined, and recommendations for supporting people with learning disabilities who experience bereavement are presented.ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bereavement
  • LEARNING disabled
  • challenging behaviour
  • death
  • grief
  • learning disability
  • psychiatric disturbance

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  • Rosemary MacHale

  • Seán Carey

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