Work-related stress and well-being of direct care workers in intellectual disability services: a scoping review of the literature

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19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Understanding the nature of work-related stress and burnout among intellectual disability care staff is important to protect the well-being of these workers and encourage their retention in the sector. Though reviews of specific aspects of this literature have been conducted no article has sought to fully chart the range and nature of this research. Objective: This article addresses this gap by synthesizing the findings of such research with consideration to the future implications for protecting the well-being of care workers. Methods: A scoping review of the published literature was undertaken using a framework described in a previous article. Results: The findings of this review are presented thematically across six primary categories: challenging behavior; reciprocity; coping and stress; role issues; individual differences; and settings. A seventh theme, namely the positive aspects of intellectual disability care work was also identified through this process and is discussed. Conclusion: Occupational stress and strain is an internationally experienced issue in this sector. Challenging behavior and inequality in the relationships between staff and their clients, their colleagues, and their organization appear to exert a significant impact on the stress and well-being of workers in this sector. Excessive workplace demands, a low level of control, and a lack of support have been shown to be related to higher levels of stress and burnout among intellectual disability care workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • intellectual development disorder
  • intellectual disability
  • learning disability
  • stress
  • well-being

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