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Healthy lifestyle behaviours for people with intellectual disabilities: An exploration of organizational barriers and enablers

O'Leary, Lisa; Taggart, Laurence; Cousins, Wendy


Laurence Taggart

Wendy Cousins


The health-related behaviours of people with intellectual disabilities may be determined by organisational influences. This innovative study aimed to explore managers’ and staffs’ perspectives on organisational influences on the promotion of healthy behaviours for this population.
A qualitative methodology was employed. Four focus groups with staff and eleven telephone interviews with managers were undertaken across three residential services in one region (Northern Ireland) of the UK. Transcripts were analysed thematically.
The organisations involved in this study did not have the cultural ethos or capacity to sustain consistent support for staff involvement in health promotion. Organisational support and outcome-focused strategies are recommended for encouraging staff involvement in health promotion activities.
These findings have implications for some organisations that support people with intellectual disabilities in improving the way they facilitate health promotion. They highlight the need for organisational cultures to facilitate knowledge translation and embrace evidence-based health promotion interventions.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2017
Publication Date 2018-01
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2019
Journal Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Print ISSN 1360-2322
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Pages 122-135
Keywords health promotion, intellectual disability, exercise , diet
Public URL
Contract Date Oct 11, 2017


Healthy lifestyle behaviours...Figure 2 Thematic framework illustrating findings... (195 Kb)

Healthy Lifestyle behaviours...Figure 1 Purpose of study to explore organisational barriers... (139 Kb)

Healthy lifestyle behaviours for people with intellectual disabilities... (707 Kb)

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