People with intellectual disabilities (ID) : experience of detention under the Mental Health Act (1983)
BACKGROUND: Fundamental to the development of research knowledge are studies establishing user views and experiences of service delivery. However, currently there are no published studies providing insight into the experience of detention for people with intellectual disability. SPECIFIC AIMS: This study explores the experiences of people with intellectual disability of detention under the Mental Health Act (1983). The study seeks to provide insight into their perceptions of the act of detention and associated emotional responses. METHOD: Transcripts of semi-structured one to one interviews (N=7) were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Participants had mild-moderate ID and been detained under the Mental Health Act. All participants had been detained in the 2-year period, prior to the study. FINDINGS: Four themes common across participants were identified: (a). 'perception of self in the world'; (b). 'a negative event', (c). emotional response to the act of detention; and finally Cd). family relationships. A number of valuable insights emerged including: the impact of perceived lack of control over self and experiences of vulnerability, powerlessness and victimisation, both prior to, and following the act of detention; participants' sense of care Vs punishment; the development of 'role' within the system and attribution of blame. DISCUSSION: This study expands the current literature regarding the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities from their perspective, the emotional impact of traumatic experiences and differences in coping styles: Ideas for future research are also provided.