Quality of diagnosis and treatment plans after using the ‘diagnostic guideline for anxiety and challenging behaviours’ in people with intellectual disabilities: a comparative multiple case study design

A.C. Pruijssers*, B. van Meijel, M.A. Maaskant, N. Keeman, T. van Achterberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background People with intellectual disabilities often have a multitude of concurrent problems due to the combination of cognitive impairments, psychiatric disorders ( particularly anxiety) and related challenging behaviours. Diagnoses in people with intellectual disabilities are complicated. This study evaluates the quality of the diagnoses and treatment plans after using a guideline that was developed to support professionals in their diagnostic tasks.

Materials and Methods A comparative multiple case study with an experimental and control condition, applying deductive analyses of diagnoses and treatment plans.

Results The analyses revealed that the number of diagnostic statements and planned treatment actions in the experimental group was significantly larger and more differentiated than in the control condition. In the control group, consequential harm and protective factors were hardly mentioned in diagnoses and treatment plans.

Conclusions Working with the 'Diagnostic Guideline for Anxiety and CB' leads to improved diagnoses and treatment plans compared with care as usual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • anxiety
  • challenging behaviour
  • diagnosis
  • guidelines
  • intellectual disabilities
  • treatment

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