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ERIC Number: EJ819187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1934-9556
Emergency Psychiatric Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: Perspectives of Hospital Staff
Lunsky, Yona; Gracey, Carolyn; Gelfand, Sara
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, v46 n6 p446-455 Dec 2008
Strains on the mainstream mental health system can result in inaccessible services that force individuals with intellectual disabilities into the emergency room (ER) when in psychiatric crisis. The purpose of this study was to identify clinical and systemic issues surrounding emergency psychiatry services for people with intellectual disabilities, from the perspective of hospital staff. Focus groups were conducted with emergency psychiatry staff from 6 hospitals in Toronto, Canada. Hospital staff reported a lack of knowledge regarding intellectual disabilities and a shortage of available community resources. Hospital staff argued that caregivers need more community and respite support to feel better equipped to deal with the crisis before it escalates to the ER and that hospital staff feel ill prepared to provide the necessary care when the ER is the last resort. Input from hospital staff pointed to deficiencies in the system that lead caregivers to use the ER when other options have been exhausted. Both staff and caregivers need support and access to appropriate services if the system is to become more effective at serving the psychiatric needs of this complex population.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. P.O. Box 7065, Lawrence, KS 66044-7065. Tel: 785-843-1235; Fax: 785-843-1274; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada