Managing demand for social care among adults with intellectual disabilities

Summary / Description

This project focuses on exploring the factors associated with social care use and strategies implemented to prevent unnecessary of social care services. Demand for formal social services support for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) is increasing nationally and internationally. Initiatives which empower individuals with ID to improve their health, develop living skills or manage chronic illnesses, may promote independence and reduce unnecessary dependency on social services. However, there is a lack of review-level evidence. This study used systematic review methods to identify studies of specific interventions or strategies which include reduced (or delayed) use of formal social care among adults with ID as outcomes, or reduced costs of formal social care at individual or system level. A ‘preventative framework’ to managing demand comprising six domains was developed from existing literature to guide the search strategy. Domains were ‘providing right care at a time of crisis’;  ‘promoting self-management of long-term conditions/improving health support’; ‘promoting healthy lifestyles’; ‘promoting independence’; ‘promoting informal care capacity’; and, ‘supporting people with complex needs’. Searches of academic and grey literature were conducted in October 2017. Fourteen papers related to three of the six domains in the predetermined preventative framework were selected for inclusion in the review, including twelve economic studies.  Outcomes included measurement of care needs, and cost-comparison between social care models or cost-effectiveness of interventions. Due to the heterogeneity of the available studies, we were not able to quantitatively synthesise findings. We conclude that evidence linking initiatives across sectors to demand for adult social care is lacking. We identify several gaps in the literature and make recommendations for future research and data recording in practice.

Principal Investigator

Dr Charlotte Woodhead and Dr Antonio Rojas-García (joint lead investigators)

Start date and duration

September 2017 to October 2018 – 1 year and 1 month.

Partners and collaborators involved

Redbridge Council