Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 4, April 2011

Behavioural concerns Assessment and management of people with intellectual disability

Robyn Woods
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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 intellectual disabilities.
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 also discussed.

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