General practitioners often care for patients with an intellectual disability. These patients may live with their family or in a group home. People with intellectual disability experience the same range of mental illnesses as the rest of the community, however they may express it differently. With poor verbal skills they may be easily frustrated and act out or withdraw.
General practitioners often care for people with an
intellectual disability, and challenging behaviours are a
common presentation, whether the patient lives with their
family or in a group home.
This article aims to give practical advice on the assessment
and treatment of behavioural issues in patients with
General practitioners can make a significant contribution
to improving the quality of life of intellectually disabled
persons. Collecting a careful description of the behaviour,
assessing for physical causes and considering specific
psychiatric diagnoses will help the GP target appropriate
intervention. Psychological support under the Better
Outcomes in Mental Health Care program can assist in
developing behavioural strategies. The role of medication is
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