Keynote speaker Angela Hassiotis: “Zorg voor mensen met een LVB vraagt om maatwerk.”

Op 17 mei 2018 organiseert de Academische Werkplaats Kajak het congres over LVB en psychiatrie ‘Werken aan Samenspel’. Keynote speaker is professor Angela Hassiotis, hoogleraar psychiatrie aan de University College in Londen. In haar lezing vertelt zij over haar visie en onderzoek op het gebied van LVB en psychiatrie. Wij stelden haar ter kennismaking alvast enkele vragen.

What is your view on the ‘inclusion’ of people with intellectual disabilities in society? Do you think that the more inclusive society is, the less psychiatric disorders will be developed in people with intellectual disabilities?

Prof. Hassiotis: “First, people with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) should participate in everyday life; there’s no question to my mind about that.  They are citizens and have rights as everybody else.  However, it is also true that many will need support, the range of which has to be tailored to individual needs; this is not and can not be a case of one size fits all. In my work I have seen people who are very able and have surprised me with their skills and enterprise and of course others who need significant amounts of care in order to be able to reach their potential.  In the UK, in our practice, and it should be across all situations and professions, we try to achieve what we call reasonable adjustments; e.g. facilitating contacts with health or other services, longer appointments, easy read guides and support to make sense of the information.”

Actief luisteren

“We try to raise awareness, create benchmarks for services, listening to what people are trying to tell us (and I mean active listening here, not tokenistic) and so on.  In my service we have created “the Camden Promise” which is a contract about what we want to deliver to people with ID in our area across the spectrum of health and social care.  The NHS England has a project about how to talk, what terms to use and the weight each of those terms carries for  further stigma and isolation.”

Biologische basis

“However, the issue of inclusion being directly related to the development of mental disorders is a complex one.  In the main because people with ID are very likely to have some biological basis for the disability (at least in a proportion of cases) and also to ensure social adversity.  Both of those factors are significant contributors to mental illhealth through direct or indirect routes.  In addition, there is substantial comorbidity (e.g. autism) and multimorbidity (e.g. physical) which also add to a different pattern of mental disorders in this population.  If we add under-ascertainment and the overall limited evidence base for treatments particularly for adults, it is not surprising that rates of symptoms of mental disorders are higher in this population. Certainly inclusive society has an important role to play but we also need to understand the presentation of mental disorders, their aetiologies and to develop appropriate treatments that should be delivered promptly by a skilled workforce.”

What is your inspiration? What research makes you proud and what are your ambitions for the future?

Professor Hassiotis: “At the beginning of my training I worked in a long stay ward for people with severe ID and mental disorders including challenging behaviour.  What struck me as unacceptable what the fact that I could not readily access psychosocial treatments beyond rudimentary/unsophisticated behavioural input and pharmacological treatments which appeared to have little impact.  There were issues with standard of care and of the range of activities available.  Up to that point, I had not been confronted with such a bleak prognosis and sense that nothing else could be done.  It seemed to me preposterous that the gamut of treatments for the adult mentally ill was extending but not for people with IDD and mental illness. So, I thought I would make it my job to look at services and at treatments in order to ultimately contribute to the lives of people with IDD.”

Internationale samenwerking

“I am proud of what we have achieved at our unit at UCL Division of Psychiatry as we have now carried out several trials, have developed a diverse portfolio of research studies and have nurtured a number of bright early career academics who we hope will continue to develop ideas and methodologies including co-production with people with IDD. Understanding challenging behaviour on a number of levels and developing novel approaches to its management including that of establishing effective service models  is a long term goal; we anticipate that we may have some answers in the near future.  However, we need a multinational collaborative (and inclusive) approach to this work which is something that I would like to explore with colleagues at the conference.”

Wilt u de lezing van professor Hassiotis bijwonen? Meld u nu aan voor het congres!

>> lees meer over prof. Angela Hassiotis op de website van de University College in Londen.