The authors of this study set out to evaluate behavioural and medication-based interventions in the treatment of challenging behaviour in people learning disabilities, both separately and in combination.
They suggest that researchers might need to adapt the methods they have traditionally used to evaluate drug interventions for individuals without disabilities when working with people with learning disabilities.
They identify some methodological difficulties from studies of drug treatments in people with learning disabilities such as withholding treatment from control groups, identifying large homogeneous samples of participants and predicting individual clinical responsiveness.
The methodological problems are summarised along with suggestions for alternative methods that could be used.
Designs and Analyses of Psychotropic and Behavioral Interventions for the Treatment of Problem Behavior Among People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Courtemanche A et al., in American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: July 2011, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 315-328.