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Outcomes important to people with intellectual disabilities

Miller, Emma and Cooper, Sally Ann and Cook, Ailsa and Petch, Alison (2008) Outcomes important to people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 5 (3). pp. 150-158. ISSN 1741-1122

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An emphasis on the outcomes of health and social care services has become increasingly apparent within public policy in the United Kingdom. Alongside this, working in partnership has been a key theme, despite a relatively underdeveloped evidence base. Of central importance, however, must be whether directives toward partnership working are delivering improved outcomes, and in particular, the outcomes that are valued by service users. The authors describe a project that sought to identify the outcomes important to people with intellectual disabilities, and where possible, whether partnerships delivered these outcomes. The research was primarily based on interviews with service users and carers, and involved people with intellectual disabilities as both researchers and research subjects. The project categorized key outcomes in two categories (quality of life and process) and identified ways in which health and social care partnerships can deliver the outcomes service users want. If agencies are to deliver good outcomes to users, as increasingly emphasized in policy, this focus should accurately reflect the outcomes that users themselves define as important.