Chemical restraint of adults with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in Queensland, Australia: Views of statutory decision makers

Article


Edwards, Niki, King, Julie, Williams, Karen and Hair, Sara. 2020. "Chemical restraint of adults with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in Queensland, Australia: Views of statutory decision makers." Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. 24 (2), pp. 194-211. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744629518782064
Article Title

Chemical restraint of adults with intellectual disability and challenging behaviour in Queensland, Australia: Views of statutory decision makers

ERA Journal ID14208
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsEdwards, Niki (Author), King, Julie (Author), Williams, Karen (Author) and Hair, Sara (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Journal Citation24 (2), pp. 194-211
Number of Pages18
Year2020
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1744-6295
1744-6309
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1744629518782064
Web Address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1744629518782064
Abstract

Background: Psychotropic medication is widely prescribed to treat mental illness. However, it is controversial when used as a chemical restraint (CR) to manage challenging behaviours (CBs) of adults with intellectual disability (ID). CR has potentially negative consequences and affects human rights. Method: Qualitative research conducted between 2014 and 2015 explored the views of ‘guardian’ decision makers appointed under unique Queensland legislation oversighting the use of CR. Results: Findings included (1) negative conceptualization of CR, (2) concerning relationships with prescribers and disability sector staff, (3) challenges to information seeking about people with ID prescribed CR and (4) problematic implementation of positive behaviour support plans. Conclusion: According to guardians, CR may be used in lieu of community supports, and prescribers sometimes diagnose mental illness to avoid CR legislative requirements. Guardians, prescribers and professionals would benefit from training that addresses the intersection between physical and mental health, CB and CR.

Keywordschemical restraint; intellectual disability; psychotropic; restrictive practices
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420602. Health equity
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Barrister-at-Law, Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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