A randomised controlled trial of liaison worker model for young people with learning disabilities and mental health problems
Twenty six young people with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs from Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities were recruited as part of a bigger study to examine the effectiveness of a liaison worker in helping young people and their families access appropriate intellectual disabilities and mental health services. Twelve young people were randomly allocated to the treatment group, which had the help of the liaison worker, and 14 young people were allocated to the control group without the help of a liaison worker. Baseline measures were undertaken with all the young people and their carers. This was followed by a 9-month trial, consisting of the liaison worker helping the treatment group to get in touch with and take up appropriate services, mainly in the areas of psychiatric appointments, benefits advice, house adaptations, leisure facilities and support and care for the young person. The control group participants did not have the access to the liaison worker and were accessing services using the normal routine. Assessments were carried out posttreatment to assess whether the use of a liaison worker had had any effect on outcomes for the two groups. Twelve young people completed the study in the treatment group and 14 in the control group. Participants allocated to the specialist liaison worker had statistically significantly more frequent contact with services and with more outcomes, than the control group, and significantly lower scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Conclusion The use of specialist liaison services in ensuring adequate access to services for young people with learning disabilities and mental health needs from the South Asian community proved to be significant and effective compared with young people and their families accessing services on their own.
Citation : Raghavan, R., Wassem, F., Newell, R., and Small, N. (2009) A randomised controlled trial of liaison worker model for young people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22 (3), pp. 256-263
Research Group : Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
Peer Reviewed : Yes