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      Experiences and needs of direct support staff working with people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A thematic analysis

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          The present study aimed to explore the experiences and needs of direct support staff during the initial stage of the COVID‐19 lockdown in the Netherlands.


          Overall, eleven direct support staff were recruited from five intellectual disability services to participate in this descriptive qualitative study. They recorded 34 audio messages during the considered period. Thematic analysis was used to analyse these audio recordings.


          Four themes emerged: (1) Emotional impact, which pertained to various emotions they experienced in their work; (2) Cognitive impact, which referred to challenges and changes they had undergone in their work; (3) Practical impact, which centred on the practical impact of the pandemic on their work; and (4) Professional impact, which concerned their experiences with other professionals.


          This study provides valuable insights into the experiences and needs of direct support staff during the COVID‐19 pandemic, which, in turn, can help inform practice in preparation for a second wave of COVID‐19 or another future pandemic.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Using thematic analysis in psychology

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            Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges

            Highlights • Emergence of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China has caused a large global outbreak and major public health issue. • At 9 February 2020, data from the WHO has shown >37 000 confirmed cases in 28 countries (>99% of cases detected in China). • 2019-nCoV is spread by human-to-human transmission via droplets or direct contact. • Infection estimated to have an incubation period of 2–14 days and a basic reproduction number of 2.24–3.58. • Controlling infection to prevent spread of the 2019-nCoV is the primary intervention being used.
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              The concept of quality of life: what we know and do not know.

              Over the past two decades the concept of quality of life (QOL) has increasingly become a focus for research and application in the fields of education/special education, health care (physical and behavioural), social services (disabilities and ageing), and families. This article summarizes our current understanding of the construct of individual QOL as it pertains to persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). The article's three major sections discuss what we know, what we are beginning to understand, and what we still do not know about the QOL construct. We currently know the importance of the QOL construct as a service delivery principle, along with its current use and multidimensional nature. We are beginning to understand the importance of methodological pluralism in the assessment of QOL, the multiple uses of quality indicators, the predictors of assessed QOL, the effects of different data collection strategies, and the etic (universal) and emic (culture-bound) properties of the construct. We have yet to understand fully the use of QOL-related outcomes in programme change, how to best evaluate the outcomes of QOL-related services, and how to use the concept of QOL to impact public and disability reform. The article concludes with a brief discussion of future challenges related to demonstrating the concept's social validity and positive impact on the lives of persons with ID.

                Author and article information

                J Appl Res Intellect Disabil
                J Appl Res Intellect Disabil
                Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                21 September 2020
                [ 1 ] Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Tilburg University Tilburg The Netherlands
                [ 2 ] ASVZ Sliedrecht The Netherlands
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Petri J. C. M. Embregts, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, the Netherlands.

                Email: p.j.c.m.embregts@

                © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

                This is an open access article under the terms of the License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Pages: 11, Words: 13905
                Original Article
                Original Articles
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