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Health professionals working effectively with support workers to enhance the quality of support for adults with intellectual disabilities: A meta‐ethnography


Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background Paid support workers are often central to the quality of life of adults with intellectual disabilities. Health and social care professionals increasingly carry out interventions indirectly through those support workers and therefore need to understand how best to collaborate. Methods This article synthesizes findings from the qualitative research of others investigating health professionals' work with support staff. From sixty‐two articles retrieved from a database and journal search, seven met inclusion criteria and a meta‐ethnographic synthesis allowed construction of an interpretive line‐of‐argument. Results Thirteen themes within the articles were synthesized into three over‐archingconstructs, suggesting that professionals should collaborate by providing effective leadership, working in partnership with support workers and managers and recognizing the influence of organizational structures and context. Conclusions As these constructs seem reflective of important components of teamwork, a “line‐of‐argument” is proposed that it could be helpful for professionals to view themselves as part of a “team” with support workers.