Person-centred active support - increasing choice, promoting independence and reducing challenging behaviour

J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2012 Jul;25(4):291-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2011.00666.x. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Background: Previous research has found that active support is effective at increasing levels of participation in activities and supporting a good quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities. However, there has been little research on the effect of active support on other outcome measures.

Methods: This study uses observational methodology, combined with staff-rated measures, to explore the impact of the implementation of person-centred active support on the lives of 30 people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities living in small group homes.

Results: Analysis indicated that significant increases in both the amount of assistance people received and the quality of that assistance were accompanied by significant increases in engagement, participation, choice-making opportunities and a significant reduction in challenging behaviour and in particular, self-stimulatory behaviour.

Conclusions: The paper discusses the implications of the findings for both practice and for further research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Behavioral Symptoms / prevention & control
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / psychology*
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult