Giving voice to adults with intellectual disabilities and experience of mental ill-health: validity of a psychosocial approach

Sutton, Paul and Gates, Bob ORCID: (2018) Giving voice to adults with intellectual disabilities and experience of mental ill-health: validity of a psychosocial approach. Nurse Researcher, 26 (2). pp. 19-26. ISSN 1351-5578

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Aim: To describe the adaption of a psychosocial research approach (Hollway and Jefferson 2000, 2013), and discuss the methodological challenges encountered in terms of enabling adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) to express their views, and be actively involved in producing knowledge about their experiences of care and support, as service users with diagnosed mental health needs.
Data sources: Main sources of data were audio-taped interviews, which were loosely structured and based on the Free Association Narrative Interview method, with seven adult users of services for people with ID, who had personal experience of mental ill-health, and lived in community settings. Additionally, data were gained from field notes, key care staff and research participants’ records kept by service providers.
Discussion: A considerable advantage of the interview format of this psychosocial approach was the opportunities it offered participants to recount their personal stories. This is contrary to the questionand- answer technique of interviewing which can suppress the stories of interviewees. In such structured approaches, the interviewer establishes the boundaries and usually maintains control over data production.
Conclusion: Undertaking two research interviews with participants, analysis of the whole material regarding individual participants, and undertaking comparative analysis of data relating to all participants, provided a system for consistency checks; hence this approach provides a valid method for enabling the participation of people with ID in the production of knowledge.
Implications for practice: The approach used is congruent with the requirement for the subjectivities of researchers, and those being researched, to be acknowledged, which is central to disability research; and is compatible with person-centred planning and co-production, both of which are central to contemporary ID nursing practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intellectual Disabilities; Mental Health; Psychosocial Approach; Free Association Narrative Interview method; Narrative Methods; Service-user perspectives
Subjects: Medicine and health > Nursing > Learning disabilities nursing
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Bob Gates
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 16:26
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:09


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