Self-management interventions for people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review

J. Sandjojo*, E. Eltringham, W. A. Gebhardt, A. M. E. E. Zedlitz, P. J. C. M. Embregts, A. W. M. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review


People with intellectual disabilities (ID) often experience difficulties managing their affairs. This study reviewed self-management interventions for people with mild to moderate ID, studying interventions’ effectiveness and applied behavioural change techniques (BCTs).

A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Embase, Emcare, Cochrane, and ProQuest. Data were extracted on study, intervention, and participant characteristics, and results.

Of the 681 studies retrieved, 36 met the inclusion criteria. Most studies used case study designs and small samples. There were eight randomised controlled trials and one non-randomised study. Studies were mostly of moderate quality (Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool). Twenty-two interventions targeted a singular practical skill for a specific context. In allinterventions, the provider applied several BCTs; in 13 studies participants were also trained to apply BCTs themselves. In all studies, improvements in self-management were reported, which mostly maintained over time (n = 20). If measured, generalisation to other settings was also found.

Future studies should aim for a higher methodological quality and couldconsider targeting more generic self-management and a wider application of BCTs by people with ID themselves.

Practice implications
The findings suggest that training can promote self-management in people with ID.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Behavioural change technique
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Intervention
  • Review
  • Self-Management

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