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The effect of brief digital interventions on attitudes to intellectual disability: Results from a pilot study

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Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background Evidence on the effects of contact and education based interventions on attitudes is limited in the intellectual disability field. This study compared the effects of brief interventions with different education, indirect and imagined contact components on lay people's attitudes. Materials and Methods 401 adult participants were randomised to six digital brief interventions consisting of different combinations of education, indirect and imagined contact. Their attitudes, intergroup anxiety and social distance were assessed post‐intervention and at four to six‐week follow‐up. Results An intervention combining film‐based education about intellectual disability and indirect contact had small positive effects on all three outcomes. Social distance was further reduced with the addition of a positively toned imagined contact task. These effects were maintained at follow‐up. Conclusions A brief film‐based digital intervention can have small positive effects on attitudes to people with intellectual disabilities. These may be enhanced by adding positive imagined contact.