Meta-analysis of deinstitutionalisation finds moderate gains in 75% of adaptive behaviour domains.

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The effects of deinstitutionalisation on adaptive behaviour outcomes in people with learning disabilities were examined in this meta analysis of 23 studies. The authors compared the studies using standardised mean effect sizes across 5 demographic, 4 methodological, and 1 outcome variable.

The analysis found moderate habilitative gains in 75% of adaptive behaviour domains. Larger effect sizes significantly predicted by sample size and research design. The authors point out the significant difficulties associated with comparing studies which use very different procedures and take place in different contexts.

Meta-analysis of deinstitutionalisation adaptive behaviour outcomes: Research and clinical implications. Hamelin J et al, in Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability36, 1 61-72

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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