What are the experiences of clinical psychologists working with people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Nataliya Chemerynska, Magda Marczak, Jo Kucharska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: People with intellectual disabilities are a particularly vulnerable group, at an increased risk of mortality from COVID-19 and of poor mental health. Psychologists providing mental health support to people with intellectual disabilities report poorer mental wellbeing and higher occupational stress. Moreover, they raise concerns about the ability of people with intellectual disabilities to engage with digital technologies for mental health support in the context of reduced face-to-face psychological provision. Aims: The study aimed to understand psychologists’ experiences of working with people with intellectual disabilities during the pandemic. Materials & Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 psychologists from community intellectual disabilities services. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Two superordinate themes emerged. Survive or Thrive highlighted the challenges and successes clinical psychologists experienced while working during the pandemic. ‘Left to Their Own Devices’ described psychologists' experiences of their clients as forgotten within society. Conclusion: The current study demonstrates psychologists' ability to adapt to extremely challenging circumstances, exposes the vulnerabilities of people with intellectual disabilities and highlights the gaps in service provision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Chemerynska, N, Marczak, M & Kucharska, J 2022, 'What are the experiences of clinical psychologists working with people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic?', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 587-595, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/jar.12971. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • experiences
  • intellectual disabilities
  • psychologist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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