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Impact of the initial response to COVID-19 on long-term care for people with intellectual disability: an interrupted time series analysis of incident reports.

  • Schuengel, C1
  • Tummers, J2, 3
  • Embregts, P J C M4
  • Leusink, G L3
  • 1 Department of Educational and Family Sciences, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 2 Department of Information Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 3 Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 4 Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
Published Article
Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR
Publication Date
Sep 21, 2020
DOI: 10.1111/jir.12778
PMID: 32954592


The lockdown-measures in response to COVID-19 taken by long-term care organisations might have impacted problem behaviour and behavioural functioning of people with intellectual disability. This study tested changes in reported incidents, in particular regarding aggression, unexplained absence and, for contrast, medication errors. Metadata on weekly incident and near-incident reports from 2016 to June 2020 involving over 14 000 clients with mild to serious intellectual disability of 's Heeren Loo, a long-term care organisation for people with intellectual disability, were subjected to interrupted time series analysis, comparing the COVID-19 with the pre-COVID-19 period. The imposition of lockdown-measures coincided with a significant drop in incidents (total, P < .001; aggression, P = .008; unexplained absences, P = .008; and medication errors, P < .001). Incidents in total (P = .001) and with aggression (P < .001) then climbed from this initial low level, while medication errors remained stably low (P = .94). The rise in incidents involving aggression, against the background of generally lowered reporting, underlines the need for pandemic control measures that are suitable for people with intellectual disability in long-term care. © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research published by MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disibilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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