The experiences of outreach support staff working with people with mild intellectual disabilities during different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands: A qualitative study

Laura Vromans, Maria C. Den Boer, Noud Frielink*, Petri J. C. M. Embregts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted the work of professionals who support people with intellectual disabilities. This study aimed to explore the experiences of outreach support staff supporting people with mild intellectual disabilities in the Netherlands during different phases of the pandemic between March 2020 and May 2021. Overall, seven outreach support staff from three intellectual disability services participated in this qualitative study. Using semi-structured interviews, participants were interviewed on three occasions between December 2020 and May 2021. A thematic analytical framework was used to analyze the interviews. Four overarching themes could be distinguished based on the data: (1) balancing between one’s professional and personal life; (2) vaccination as both a stress reducer and a source of agitation; (3) service users: vulnerable versus resilient; and (4) contact with colleagues and service users. These themes provided valuable insights into the experiences of outreach support staff during different phases of the pandemic, both in the enduring impact of the pandemic and its measures on support staff, as well as in terms of how the pandemic and its preventive measures impacted their profession.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1515
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability/epidemiology
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Qualitative Research

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