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Pain in adults with intellectual disabilities

Findlay, L; (2011) Pain in adults with intellectual disabilities. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Part 1: The literature review details studies investigating pain in adults with intellectual disabilities: prevalence of pain, understanding and descriptions of pain and methods to enhance these, and unreported pains. The review highlights that adults with intellectual disabilities experience pains associated with a variety of health complaints, but often these are not reported and only identified by investigative procedures. The review also highlights shortcomings in the abilities of caregivers and professionals in recognising and acting in order to relieve pain. Part 2: The empirical paper reports on an exploratory qualitative study of the experiences and understandings of pain in adults with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers, and the meaning given to pain. Analysis highlights the difficulties adults with intellectual disabilities experience in understanding pain and having an appropriate language to communicate about pain. Analysis also revealed that caregivers possess knowledge and to recognise and manage pain and have clear perceptions of the pain experience in the people they care for. The findings are discussed with reference to prior research, scientific and professional implications and potential future directions. Part 3: The critical appraisal discusses the research topic and how the researchers’ understanding of pain in adults with intellectual disabilities changed. It then addresses conceptual and methodological issues that arose whilst conducting the research, and evaluates the limitations of the research. Finally it highlights implications for clinical practice, whilst offering suggestions for future research directions.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Pain in adults with intellectual disabilities
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Keywords:carers, content analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis, pain, intellectual disability

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