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Psychosomatics. 2011 May-Jun;52(3):210-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2011.01.044.

Assessment and management of patients with intellectual disabilities by psychiatric consultants.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Although most individuals with intellectual disability (ID) currently reside in the community and receive their health care in general medical settings, there is no specific literature on psychiatric consultation to those requiring inpatient medical or surgical care.


The authors discuss the specialized features of the consultation-liaison (C-L) evaluation and common requests for psychiatric consultation in the hospitalized ID population.


This article reviews the literature on general psychiatric care in this population and presents the experience of practitioners in the ID-Psychiatry field who have followed their patients through episodes of inpatient non-psychiatric care.


The C-L clinician must adapt the interview to accommodate a patient's cognitive, sensory, and language capacities; integrate information from collateral sources; and serve as a liaison between multiple parties.


ID should not be a barrier to the delivery of appropriate health care. This article provides evidence and recommendations on C-L assessment, management, and liaison for hospitalized individuals with ID.

Copyright © 2011 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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