Kate van Dooren

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Dr Kate van Dooren is a postdoctoral fellow at the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (www.qcidd.com.au) at The University of Queensland, Australia. Kate is working with the Australian Autism Cooperative Research Centre (www.autismcrc.com.au) to develop online health and wellbeing tools for adults with autism and the health professionals who support them. She is also interested in contributing to improvements to the health of prisoners with intellectual disability.


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Tracking psychotropic medication use for management of aggressive behaviour

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Psychotropic medications are prescribed widely to many people with learning disabilities, but there remain many concerns about over, or improper use of such medications.

Here, Kate van Dooren looks at a study which collected data from 100 participants over a period of time to look at psychotropic medication and the relationship between dose, demographic factors and aggression scores.

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Promoting social support and parenting skills in parents with an intellectual disability

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Research has documented negative attitudes to parents with learning disabilities and highlighted the need for supports.

Here Kate van Dooren looks at a review of literature exploring support interventions for parents with learning disabilities.

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Self-injurious behaviour: we need better research to understand this complex issue


Self injurious behaviour usually directly results in physical harm to an individual and can also seriously impact on their quality of life

Here, Kate van Dooren looks at a review of the literature relating to behavioural interventions for self-injurious behaviours, which sets out to consider the implications of this literature for training and managerial support.

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programmes reduced stress in mothers of children with disabilities in community sample RCT


Mindfulness is increasingly recognised as an effective way to reduce stress and improve well-being

Here Kate van Dooren looks at a randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness based stress reduction programme with mothers of children with autism and other developmental delays to look at its impact on levels of distress over time.

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Parenting skills support programme effective for some parents, but must be tailored to individual circumstances

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Parents of children with learning disability and/or autism in seeking support with parenting skills, may have need of support with specific skills relevant to supporting their child with a disability.

Here, Kate van Dooren looks at a ‘pragmatic non-randomised’ study which evaluated a parent programme called ‘Riding the Rapids’ to see what happened to those parents who followed the programme.

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Lack of studies of pharmacological interventions among adults with autism and learning disability leave clinicians with little guidance

Researchers looked at the use of psychotropic medications over time

1 in 100 adults experience autism worldwide but little research exists on autism in adults. Adults with autism and learning disability may have distinct needs, and in particular challenging behaviour, which may increase their social isolation and reduce access to quality health care.

In her debut blog, Kate van Dooren looks at a systematic review from Canadian researchers who examined the evidence for the use of medications for challenging behaviours in adults with autism and learning disability.

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