Applying the principles of trauma-informed care in intellectual disability services
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Applying the principles of trauma-informed care in intellectual disability services

Katherine Dewey Assistant psychologist, learning disabilities, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, England
Sarah Horsley Consultant clinical psychologist, learning disabilities, Southern Health Foundation Trust, Southampton, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware that the prevalence of traumatic or adverse life events is high among people with intellectual disabilities

  • To understand that trauma-informed care is based on the rationale that in healthcare services there is the potential for traumatisation or retraumatisation in people who have been exposed to traumatic events

  • To recognise what trauma-informed care looks like in intellectual disability services, including the barriers to and enablers of implementation

Traumatic events are associated with actual or threatened risk to life, serious injury or sexual violence. The prevalence of traumatic events is particularly high among people with intellectual disability. Trauma-informed care is an important yet unresearched area in intellectual disability services. This article outlines the principles of trauma-informed care and considers how these can be applied in practice to people with an intellectual disability. The authors discuss the limited literature on the implementation of trauma-informed care in intellectual disability services, which is primarily drawn from case studies or non-empirical research. The article includes two examples of trauma-informed care implemented in intellectual disability settings and outlines areas for future research.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2179

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

katherine@dewey.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Dewey K, Horsley S (2022) Applying the principles of trauma-informed care in intellectual disability services. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2179

Published online: 28 April 2022

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