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The experiences of female care staff supporting men with intellectual disabilities with sexualised challenging behaviour: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

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posted on 07.11.2018, 12:22 by Kerry Jayne Cope
Literature Review: A systematic review of the existing literature was conducted. Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria of factors influencing attributions and emotional responses of care staff towards adults with intellectual disabilities who display challenging behaviours. Narrative synthesis identified many factors relating to the individual with challenging behaviour have an impact on the attributional style and emotional response of staff. Attributional theory may have limited utility in making sense of staff reactions to challenging behaviour due to the complexity and quality of staff-service user relationships. As such, further research is called for to explore the role of relationships in the understanding of behaviour. Research Report: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilised to explore female care staff experiences of supporting men with intellectual disabilities with sexualised challenging behaviour. Three superordinate themes were generated: ‘you wonder if you’re doing the right thing’, concerned with the tension the women felt between a desire to provide support whilst simultaneously grappling with an uncertainty as to whether the men deserved care; ‘always looking for danger’, concerned with an enduring sense of danger felt in working with patients with sexualised challenging behaviour; and ‘no one really cares about the staff’, concerned with how the women felt devalued at work, where emotional reactions were disregarded or disallowed. Findings highlighted the importance of services acknowledging staff emotions, and allowing safe spaces for the discussion of this. Further qualitative research is called for exploring services factors which allow or inhibit staff emotional expression. Critical Appraisal: The critical appraisal offers the researchers personal and professional reflections on the research process.



Morgan, Gareth; Burgess, Gerald

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

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