The use of therapeutic untruths by staff supporting people with an intellectual disability who display behaviours that challenge

Karen McKenzie*, Bethan Armitage, George Murray, Ian James

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Therapeutic untruths (TU) are used in dementia services to de-escalate distressing situations. The present authors explored the use of TU by care staff supporting people with an intellectual disability who displayed behaviours that challenged. Method: Data were collected from 126 staff (female = 72.2%; mean age = 41.9 years, SD = 10.7) via an online survey in relation to three areas: responses to three scenarios, reported use of different forms of TU and ratings of perceived effectiveness of, and level of comfort using, each type. Results: 96% of participants reported using TU themselves and observing their colleagues doing likewise. Models that included perceived effectiveness of, and level of staff comfort with using, different TU were significant, although only perceived effectiveness significantly independently contributed to the model. Conclusion: The use of TU was common, with levels consistent with those found in dementia services. The limitations and implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume34
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

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