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The Public Psychiatrist and the Patient with Intellectual Disability 

The Public Psychiatrist and the Patient with Intellectual Disability
Chapter:
The Public Psychiatrist and the Patient with Intellectual Disability
Author(s):

Emily Morse

, Kelly Vinquist

, and Jodi Tate

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190907914.003.0005
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date: 30 June 2022

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are among the populations most underserved by health care systems. Following shifts toward deinstitutionalization during the past several decades, community-based services have largely assumed care for this population, which tends to experience high rates of medical and psychiatric morbidity. Providers frequently feel inadequately trained in providing care to these patients, and the system as a whole struggles to adequately meet their often complex needs. Nevertheless, working with those with intellectual or developmental disabilities can be highly rewarding for providers. There is great potential to offer a meaningful impact and improve the quality of life for these patients and their families and support systems with careful assessment and intervention. This chapter offers insights to the community psychiatrist working with patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Common obstacles in assessment, diagnosis, and management of mental illness and challenging behaviors in this population are discussed. Case examples exemplifying the complexities of these individuals are included.

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