Using cognitive behavioural therapy in individuals with intellectual disability
evidence and practice    

Using cognitive behavioural therapy in individuals with intellectual disability

Mhari Henderson-Laidlaw Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Sarah Hall Learning Disability Nursing Student, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Why you should read this article
  • To familiarise yourself with the principles underpinning cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • To identify the role of CBT in treating psychological disorders experienced by people with intellectual disabilities

  • To understand the challenges of delivering CBT for people with intellectual disabilities

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has become established as a method for treating psychological disorders experienced by the general population, with considerable evidence available to support its efficacy. However, little research has been conducted into its effectiveness in treating psychological disorders experienced by people with intellectual disabilities.

This article explores the various factors involved in the use of CBT for people with intellectual disabilities and how healthcare professionals and the multidisciplinary team have an important role in the CBT process. The input of learning disability nurses is also explored, particularly their vital role in supporting CBT and providing information that is concurrent with an individual’s level of understanding.

Challenges in the provision of CBT for this population are also examined, for example the prevalence of diagnostic overshadowing, which can make it difficult to distinguish between cognitive impairment and mental health issues in people with intellectual disabilities.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2013

Peer review

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

Correspondence

m.henderson-laidlaw@napier.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Henderson-Laidlaw M, Hall S (2020) Using cognitive behavioural therapy in individuals with intellectual disability. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2013

Accepted 20 September 2019

Published online: 05 March 2020