Receipt of psychotropic medication by people with intellectual disability in residential settings

J Intellect Disabil Res. 2000 Dec;44 ( Pt 6):666-76. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2788.2000.00307.x.


Previous studies have reported that the rate of prescription of antipsychotic medication for people with intellectual disability is far in excess of the expected prevalence of psychoses for this population. Recent research identifying factors which predict the use of psychotropic medication suggests that challenging behaviour may play a key role in determining the receipt of antipsychotic medication. The present study reports the prevalence of psychoactive medication receipt for 500 people with intellectual disability living in different forms of residential provision in the UK. Variables which predict the receipt of psychotropic medication are also identified. The results show differences between forms of residential provision in rates of medication receipt. Analyses of predictors of psychotropic medication receipt suggest that, whilst the receipt of antidepressants is predicted by symptoms of mental ill health, the receipt of both antipsychotics and hypnotics/anxiolytics is predicted by variables related to challenging behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Conduct Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities / psychology
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Residential Facilities / organization & administration
  • Residential Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives