Stakeholders’ perspectives on how to improve the support for persons with an intellectual disability and challenging behaviors: A concept mapping study

S. L. P. Nijs*, E. F. Taminiau-Bloem, N. Frielink, P. J. C. M. Embregts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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People with an intellectual disability (ID) are at risk of developing challenging behavior. Although previous research provided important insights into how to support people with an ID and challenging behavior, it remains unclear what various stakeholders consider to be the most essential aspects to further improve their support.

Statements regarding aspects perceived necessary to improve the support to people with an ID and challenging behavior were collected in focus groups. Afterwards participants individually prioritized and clustered these statements, resulting in concept maps for people with an ID, direct support workers, and psychologists. Since only three relatives participated in the entire concept mapping procedure, no concept map could be composed based on their input.

Participants generated 200 statements. In the concept map of clients, statements were mentioned regarding relational aspects, providing clarity and structure, characteristics of support staff, and professional attitude of direct support workers. Direct support workers provided statements related to their own personal competencies, the necessity of feeling supported and appreciated, and a physical safe environment. Psychologists provided statements regarding their support for direct support workers, the support for the clients, the perspective on the client, and their role as psychologists.

The results of this study may be a starting point to foster increased evidence based practice for the support for persons with an ID and challenging behavior. Moreover, it provides opportunities to create care founded on mutual attunement, based on listening to each other’s ideas and insight into perspectives and needs of various stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • CARE
  • challenging behaviors
  • concept mapping
  • intellectual disability
  • support

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