A young woman with disabilities walks through a town with two women

DCP Faculty for People With Intellectual Disabilities

The Faculty for People With Intellectual Disabilities is part of the Division of Clinical Psychology. We currently have over 400 members throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

About

The Faculty for People With Intellectual Disabilities provides a forum for Clinical Psychologists with an interest in work with people with learning disabilities.

We have two main strategic roles:

  • Ensuring that national and local developments take account of the psychological needs of people with learning disabilities, and that clinical psychologists are in a position to influence services. We achieve some of this by responding to various consultations and preparing guidance on best practice.
  • Influencing and responding to issues that impact on psychology as a whole, and ensuring that people with learning disabilities benefit from these agendas. This will include addressing the DCP strategic objectives.

Our aims are to...

  • Act as a focal point for consultation on all matters, which relate to users' psychological well being for the Society, Division and all relevant organisations.
  • Encourage and promote the professional work and development of clinical psychologists within this field.
  • Foster effective psychological services and practices for people with learning disabilities and their families or carers, which respect their rights, enhance their status and promote a positive image.
  • Promote awareness of current research, issues within the field and models of clinical practice at all levels of service provision, as well as within the profession, through conferences accessible to psychologists and others of all levels of experience.
  • Use and disseminate psychological information, knowledge and skills to promote good practice at all levels, with users, carers, providers and commissioners.

What We Do:

The Faculty is involved in a range of activities. These include:

  • Liaising with other agencies and professional groups
  • Organising conferences and training events
  • Producing a quarterly Newsletter for our members
  • Producing briefing papers and policy documents
  • Providing feedback on policy documents that have been issued for consultation by the Department of Health and other organisations
  • Supporting regional groups of clinical psychologists who work with people with learning disabilities

Resources and publications

Publications

The Bulletin of the Faculty of People with Intellectual Disabilities

The newsletter is a publication to keep clinical psychologists working in the field of learning disability informed about:

  • Faculty and other relevant Society activities;
  • innovative practice changes in statutory provision and legislation related to people with intellectual disabilities;
  • latest research; and
  • training courses, events and conferences

It also provides a means for clinical psychologists, trainees and assistants to make contact with colleagues working with similar issues or projects.

Download editions of the bulletin

Guidelines

Outcome Measures for Challenging Behaviour Interventions: A Faculty Project

Overview

A commitment was made by the Learning Disability Faculty of the British Psychological Society at its annual conference in April 2009 for the Faculty to develop a ‘menu’ of recommended measures for use by psychologists and the wider services that support adults with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges services.

Project participants from ten services across England used one or more of a selection of outcome measures before and after challenging behaviour interventions. Project participants also completed a ‘Utility of Measures’ questionnaire to provide a perception of how useful and valid each measure had been.

From the project data, four outcome measures are recommended for use for challenging behaviour interventions:

  • The Behavior Problems Inventory-01 (Rojahn et al., 2001). 
  • The Challenging Behaviour Interview (Oliver et al., 2002). 
  • The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales - Learning Disability version (Roy et al., 2002). 
  • The Maslow Assessment of Needs Scales - Learning Disability (Skirrow & Perry, 2009).

A summary table of other outcome measures reported as being in use during the project was also collated from available data.

  • Download the full project report

Behaviour Problems Inventory-01

Measure Information

The Behavior Problems Inventory (BPI-01) is a 52-item respondent-based behaviour rating instrument for self-injurious, stereotypic, and aggressive / destructive behaviour. Items are rated on a frequency scale and a severity scale. Instructions for use are provided on the measure.

Rojahn et al. (2001) report the BPI-01 to be a reliable (retest reliability, internal consistency, and between-interviewer-agreement) and valid (factor and criterion validity) instrument for assessing challenging behaviour in people with a learning disability. Further information is also provided in Rojahn et. al (2012).

Project Results: The results from the ‘Utility of Measures’ sheets for the BPI-01 suggest it was perceived by project participants as being clear and easy to use, and relatively short to administer. It was seen as being able to detect change for nearly all people on whom it was administered, and this change was thought to be consistent with clinical opinion. The key limit to the measure was highlighted as being its use of terminology that is outdated in the UK and may therefore be deemed disrespectful (i.e. ‘mental retardation’).

There was a significant difference (p=0.0002) between the totalised BPI-01 scores for the pre- and post-intervention groups. This suggests that the BPI-01 is able to differentiate between the two populations, and may therefore be useful for reporting outcomes at a service level as well as for individual clinical interventions.

Based on the results of this project, the BPI-01 is recommended for use as an outcome measure for challenging behaviour interventions in adult learning disability services.

You must be signed-in to access the following materials

  • Download the Behavior Problems Inventory (BPI) (members only)
  • Download the Behavior Problems Inventory - Short Version (BPI-S) (members only)

The BPI-S is a shorter, 30-item version of the BPI. It was recently introduced in two articles in the Journal of Intllectual Disability Reserach (Rojahn et al., 2012a and 2012b).

As the BPI-S was not included in the LD Faculty project we have no further data on which to base a recommendation for its use. The referenced article does, however, include information on test development, reliability and validity.

References

Rojahn, J., Matson, J.L., Lott, D., Esbensen, A.J. & Small, Y.(2001). The Behavior Problems Inventory: An Instrument for the Assessment of Self-Injury, Stereotyped Behavior, and Aggression /Destruction in Individuals With Developmental Disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31 (6), 577-588.

Rojahn, J., Rowe, E. W., Sharber, A. C., Hastings, R., Matson, J. L., Didden, R., Kroes, D. B. H. and Dumont, E. L. M. (2012a). The Behavior Problems Inventory-Short Form for individuals with intellectual disabilities: Part I: development and provisional clinical reference data. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56 (5), 527-545

Rojahn, J., Rowe, E. W., Sharber, A. C., Hastings, R., Matson, J. L., Didden, R., Kroes, D. B. H. and Dumont, E. L. M. (2012b). The Behavior Problems Inventory-Short Form for individuals with intellectual disabilities: Part II: reliability and validity. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56 (5), 546-565.

Maslow Assessment of Needs Scales (Mans-LD)

Measure Information

The Maslow Assessment of Needs Scales - Learning Disabilities (MANS-LD) is a 19 item questionnaire designed for use with a person with a learning disability. Response is via a 5 point scale with symbols to help the person decide their response. Questions are focussed on how happy the person is with the way some of their basic needs are being met. The MANS-LD is supplemented by an 8 item questionnaire adapted from the World Health Organisation Quality of Life Scale (WHOQOL-8; Power,2003), which also has a 5 point scale to help the person decide their response. Instructions for use of the MANS-LD and WHOQOL-8 are provided on the measure.

The MANS-LD was developed by Paul Skirrow and Ewan Perry (© 2009 to Mersey Care NHS Trust). The authors describe the measure as having good face validity, applicability to a range of settings and consistency with national policy such as Valuing People and the Human Rights Act. The authors have piloted the scale to refine standardisation, but no validation or reliability studies have been completed.

Project Results

Issues in some of the services participating in the project meant that the amount of final data for the MANS-LD was limited. This should be considered when evaluating the project results.

The results from the ‘Utility of Measures’ sheets for the MANS-LD suggest it was perceived by project participants as reasonably short to administer. The fact that it is designed for use with people with a learning disability appears to have contributed to a general perception that it is very respectful in its design. There were some qualitative comments by project participants highlighting that some of the questions could be difficult for people with a learning disability to understand, which could contribute to the scale being lengthy to answer. This may indicate that further validation and standardisation would be helpful. On balance, however, the MANS-LD was perceived as a good measure for use with people with a learning disability with the ability to answer the questions. It was seen as being able to detect change for most people on whom it was administered, and this change was thought to be mostly consistent with clinical opinion.

There was a significant difference (p=0.0121) between the totalised MANS-LD scores for the pre- and post-intervention groups. This suggests that the MANS-LD is able to differentiate between the two populations, and may therefore be useful for reporting outcomes at a service level as well as for individual clinical interventions.

Based on the results of this project, the MANS-LD is recommended for use as a self-report outcome measure that reflects the service user’s perception of their quality of life before and after a challenging behaviour intervention. There are, however, some additional considerations for services, as discussed above.

Download
  • MANS Manual
  • MANS-LD Easy Read Retrospective
  • WHO-QOL Easy Read

MANS-LD Easy Read Retrospective- compressed (N.B. - this version of the prospective MANS-LD has been compressed to meet the BPS website requirements. This has left a 'watermark' advertising the compression software.

Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP)

What is the STOMP project?

In summary, in July 2015 research commissioned by NHS England on the prescription of psychotropic drugs to people with learning disabilities was published in a number of reports, including those by Public Health England and NHS Improving Quality. The research found that:

  • Medicines are often used for long periods of time without adequate review
  • There is a much higher rate of prescribing of medicines associated with mental health difficulties amongst people with learning disabilities than the general population, often including more than one medicine in the same class, and in the majority of cases with no clear justification
  • There is poor communication with parents and carers, and between different healthcare providers

The Public Health England report estimated that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability were being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification.

Although there is limited evidence on the side-effects of psychotropic medications for people with learning disabilities, research with other groups of people has highlighted an increased risk of sedation, weight gain, anticholinergic effects, stroke and mortality. These medications are therefore thought likely to cause significant harm for some people with learning disabilities.

Following these reports, NHS England led a ‘call to action’ which brought together representatives of professional, expert by experience and carer groups to make sure changes were made to these inappropriate practices. This led to a pledge to reduce over medication and the start of STOMP. The 3 year project ran until 2019. 

What are the aims of STOMP?

STOMP is about making sure people get the right medicine if they need it and that people get all the help they need in other ways as well. It is about encouraging people to have regular medication reviews, supporting health professionals to involve people in decisions about their care and showing how families and social care providers can be involved. STOMP also aims to improve awareness of nondrug therapies and practical ways of supporting people whose behaviour is seen as challenging.

What is the role of the British Psychological Society in STOMP?

The Society was one of the original signatories to the STOMP project pledge, which was launched on 1 st June 2016. The STOMP programme links to the objectives of the Society, especially through improving the awareness and use of the ‘alternatives to medication’, which are predominantly psychologically informed approaches. A key role for the Society is the general promotion of these alternatives and providing support to enable the challenge of prescribing practice where there are queries about its quality. In addition, the Society aims to support its members who work in learning disability services to influence and take a lead role in systemic changes in their teams, so as to reduce the likelihood of inappropriate prescribing, increase the robustness of medication review and improve the provision of the alternatives to medication.

What are the British Psychological Society actions in relation to STOMP?

The Society actions in relation to STOMP have been coordinated through its Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities (FPID) of the Division of Clinical Psychology. 

Although the Society’s work is being coordinated by FPID, there is a role for all members who come in to contact with people with learning disabilities.

Further resources

Committee

Chair: Sophie Doswell

Chair Elect: Jason Crabtree

Vice Chair (Past Chair)

Honorary Treasurer: Gemma Gray

Honorary Secretary: Tom Crossland

Committee Members

  • Cathy Randle-Phillips
  • Jenni Shaw
  • Jon Codd
  • Julian Morris
  • Karen Dodd
  • Reed Cappleman
  • Sabiha Azmi
  • Nigel Beail

Conference Organiser: Jonathan Williams

Policy Lead: Vacant

Research & Development Lead: Kate Theodore

Training Representative: Alison Spencer

Website Editor: Kate Allez

Northern Ireland Representative: Matthew McMurray

Pre-Qualification Group Representative: Luke Yates

Scottish Representative: Moira Phillips

Trauma Informed Care Represenative: Vacant

Welsh Representative: Hayley Thomas

Join

Apply to join the faculty (students, affiliates, e-subscribers)

Apply to join the faculty (graduate, chartered, and in-training members)

Membership of the Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

There are three grades of faculty membership:

  • Full membership

    For psychologists who are Full Members of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and who work in or have an interest or expertise in the field of people with intellectual disabilities.

  • Affiliate membership

    For psychologists who are General (Pre-Training) and In-Training members of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP). Affiliate members may take part in discussions but may not vote.

  • Associate membership

    For General members of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and non-Division members. Associate members may take part in discussions but may not vote.

If you are not already a member, you can join the faculty at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

Apply to join the society

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities membership

The Faculty promotes awareness of current research, issues within the field and models of clinical practice at all levels of service provision, as well as within the profession, through conferences accessible to psychologists and others of all levels of experience.

Benefits include conferences and events, briefing papers and policy documents and liaising with other agencies and professional groups.

Member Announcement Email List

The Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the Faculty you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities
  2. opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities announcement email' in the subject line.

Member Discussion Email List

To join the Member Discussion List please login to your member portal and click on the Preferences tile, where you’ll be able to join the discussion list.

To receive discussion list emails you will need to be 

  • a member of the DCP Faculty for People With Intellectual Disabilities
  • opted into receiving email communication from the Society (you can change your preference by logging onto your account via the member portal)  

Getting involved with Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities Committee

The Faculty for People with Intellectual Disabilities relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Faculty is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community.