Clinical competencies and training needs of psychologists working with adults with intellectual disability and comorbid mental ill health

Joyce Man*, Maria Kangas, Julian Trollor, Naomi Sweller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Psychologists play a pivotal role in meeting the mental health needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of Australian psychologists who work with adults with intellectual disabilities and mental ill health regarding their clinical competencies, workplace supports and training needs.

Method: One hundred and nine psychologists in Australia completed a self-report online survey exploring clinical attitudes and practices when working with adults with intellectual disabilities and mental ill health. Provisional,generalist and clinical psychologists from a range of disability and non-disability work settings were recruited.

Results: Findings revealed that provisional, generalist and clinical psychologists reported no significant differences in levels of agreement on self-perceived clinical competencies in conducting mental health assessments. Psychologists in private practice and in non-government organisations reported more adequate workplace resources to support mental health assessments for people with intellectual disabilities than did psychologists in government settings. Psychologists across work settings expressed similar views in self-perceived clinical competencies and workplace training supports. The majority of psychologists reported limited formal academic training in intellectual disabilities and expressed a need for continual and specialised training in mental health and intellectual disabilities.

Conclusions: Implications for further training in mental health and intellectual disabilities highlight the need to cater to the specific needs of psychologists in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Psychologist
Volume21
Issue number3
Early online date2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • assessment
  • competencies
  • disability
  • health
  • intellectual
  • mental

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