Support staff’s perceptions of discontinuing antipsychotics in people with intellectual disabilities in residential care: A mixed-method study

Bas Kleijwegt, Addy Pruijssers, Lydie de Jong-Bakker, Koos de Haan, Harmieke van Os-Medendorp, Berno van Meijel

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Background: Although there is little evidence on their efficacy regarding challenging behaviour, antipsychotics are the most used psychotropic drugs in residential intellectually disabled people. Discontinuation is possible for some residential clients with intellectual disabilities. This study aimed to gain insight into support staff's perceptions of discontinuing antipsychotics in residential clients with intellectual disabilities. Method: Four focus groups were conducted in this mixed-methods study, followed by a survey. Results: A large majority of support staff perceive antipsychotics to be effective in controlling challenging behaviour. Support staff regarded themselves as willing to contribute to the discontinuation of antipsychotics, but were more confident about achieving reductions. Conclusions: The attitude of the majority of support staff towards discontinuation provides a good basis for regularly reviewing antipsychotics use. A reduction plan should include preliminary steps, methods of monitoring and evaluating the process, and establishing measures for dealing with possible crises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-870
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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