University of Leicester
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An exploratory investigation of how people with intellectual disabilities experience anxiety and depression

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:46 authored by Helen Frain
Literature on the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities of anxiety and depression is reviewed, with emphasis on how these experiences might be similar or dissimilar to those of the general population. The review considered factors that make people with intellectual disabilities vulnerable to anxiety and depression, issues in the assessment of anxiety and depression with this client group and the applicability of psychological understandings of anxiety and depression to people with intellectual disabilities. The literature suggested that people with intellectual disabilities typically experience anxiety and depression in very similar ways to the general population. Implications for clinical practice and directions for future research are discussed.;The research report aimed to explore the experiences of eight people with intellectual disabilities of anxiety and depression. Semi structured interviews were conducted and the transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, 1995). Four super ordinate themes emerged; 1) identifying a change in affective state; 2) Describing these changes feel different; 3) understanding the experience, making sense of the changes, labelling them and relating them to internal factors; 4) Coping with the changes. The findings are discussed in relation to the existing literature, implications for clinical practice are outlined and directions for future research are suggested.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Clinical Psychology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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