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The developmentally disabled, psychiatrically impaired client. Proper treatment of dual diagnosis.

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Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health, Lansing, Michigan.


1. As many as 30% to 35% of all developmentally disabled persons have a psychiatric impairment. Nurses must be aware that in a developmentally disabled client, psychiatric impairments are frequently exhibited as negative behaviors. 2. Nursing interventions are the same as those used in general mental health settings, but are adapted to the client's needs. If needed, nurses should encourage the full range of psychiatric medications. 3. Care of these patients requires undertaking much investigative work and review of old files, interviewing persons who know the client well, and doing some guess work.

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