Experiences of people with intellectual disability and dementia: A systematic review



Jacobs P, Watchman K, Wilkinson H, Hoyle L & McGenily L (2022) Experiences of people with intellectual disability and dementia: A systematic review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Background Dementia disproportionately affects people with intellectual disability. Most qualitative studies explore their experiences by utilising proxy-reports. A smaller number of studies illustrate the possibility of exploring perspectives directly from people with intellectual disability and dementia. Method This systematic review synthesised findings from existing studies (n = 8) that involve people with intellectual disability and dementia as participants to understand their experiences of dementia. Searches were conducted using CINAHL, PsychInfo and Social Services Abstracts. Results Findings include descriptions of changes in individual functioning, a narrowing of social worlds and of how people made sense of the changes despite often having no knowledge of their dementia diagnosis. Additionally, discussion focuses on how people's experiences are shaped by their environments. Conclusion The review recognises the complexities of speaking to people with intellectual disability about dementia, challenges views that people with intellectual and dementia cannot be involved in research and makes recommendations to support inclusion in future studies.

dementia; intellectual disability; learning disability; qualitative; systematic review

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

StatusIn Press
FundersThe Dunhill Medical Trust
Publication date online23/12/2022
Date accepted by journal24/11/2022

People (3)


Dr Louise Hoyle

Dr Louise Hoyle

Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Health Sciences Stirling

Dr Paula Jacobs

Dr Paula Jacobs

Research Fellow, Social Work

Professor Karen Watchman

Professor Karen Watchman

Professor, Health Sciences Stirling

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