Adults with intellectual disabilities: prevalence, incidence and remission of self-injurious behaviour, and related factors

Cooper, S.-A., Smiley, E., Allan, L.M., Jackson, A., Finlayson, J., Mantry, D. and Morrison, J. (2009) Adults with intellectual disabilities: prevalence, incidence and remission of self-injurious behaviour, and related factors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(3), pp. 200-216. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2008.01060.x)

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Abstract

<b>Background</b>: Self-injurious behaviour (SIB) is a serious condition, with implications for the person, their family and financial costs to the state providing care. The previously reported prevalence of SIB has ranged from 1.7% to 41%, or 1.7%–23.7% in community studies. There has been little study of remission rate, and incidence has not previously been reported. SIB has been reported to be individually associated with lower ability, autism and communication impairments, but given the inter-relationships between these three factors, it is not known whether they are independently associated with SIB. This study investigates the point prevalence, incidence and remission rates of SIB among the adult population with intellectual disabilities (ID), and explores which factors are independently associated with SIB. <b>Method</b>: A prospective cohort study design was used in a general community setting. The participants were all adults (16 years and over) with ID in a defined geographical area. Individual assessments were conducted with all participants. <b>Results</b>: The point prevalence of SIB (as defined by DC-LD) was 4.9%, the two-year incidence was 0.6%, and two-year remission rate was 38.2%. Independently related to SIB were: lower ability level, not living with a family carer, having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, visual impairment, and not having Down syndrome. Other factors, including communication impairment, autism, and level of deprivation of the area resided within, were not related. <b>Conclusions</b>: SIB is not as enduring and persistent as previously thought; a significant proportion gains remission in this time period. This should provide hope for families, paid carers and professionals, and reduce therapeutic nihilism. Our study is a first tentative step towards identifying risk-markers for SIB, and developing aetiological hypotheses for subsequent testing. The extent to which SIB may be a relapsing-remitting (episodic) condition requires further investigation, so does further hypothesis-based investigation of factors that might be predictive of incidence of, and remission from, SI

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Intellectual disabilities, mental ill-health, problem behaviours, psychiatric epidemiology, self-injurious behaviour.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Morrison, Professor Jillian and Smiley, Dr Elita and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Allan, Mrs Linda and Jackson, Dr Alison
Authors: Cooper, S.-A., Smiley, E., Allan, L.M., Jackson, A., Finlayson, J., Mantry, D., and Morrison, J.
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
ISSN:0964-2633
ISSN (Online):1365-2788
Published Online:28 April 2008

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