Exploring the experiences of mental health professionals towards people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Singapore

Ee, Jonathan Yao Hong ORCID: 0000-0002-8965-8639 (2021). Exploring the experiences of mental health professionals towards people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Singapore. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

[img] Ee2021PhD_Redacted.pdf
Text - Redacted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2025.
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (5MB) | Request a copy


Mental health problems of people with intellectual disabilities can negatively affect the willingness of healthcare professionals to work with them and their family carers to support them. There has as yet not been any research to understand the experiences of different stakeholders providing care and treatment to this population in Singapore.

This thesis used a qualitative approach to explore 1) the experiences of mental health professionals working with this population, 2) the experiences of family carers and service users about the specialist mental health service and their mental health experiences in Singapore.

Five groups were identified. Individual interviews or focus group discussions were conducted with mainstream and specialist mental health professionals; family carers of people with intellectual disabilities; inpatient and outpatient service users. Thematic and interpretative phenomenological analysis were used to analyse the participants’ quotes.

Mainstream mental health professionals reported feelings of uncertainty when working with people with intellectual disabilities and required additional training and knowledge to increase their confidence managing the mental health needs of this population. Specialist mental health professionals reported initial fears when starting out and became more confident with increased experience over time. They were more likely to interact with people with intellectual disabilities and involved their family carers during treatment to improve their health outcomes. Family carers found it challenging to deal with the mental health and behaviour problems of their relatives and were satisfied with the services provided by specialist mental health professionals. Outpatient service users had more opportunities to participate in the community and received more family support than inpatient service users. Both groups of service users desired an increased choice and autonomy over their lives, however their views were neglected as mental health professionals often took into consideration the views of their family carers during the treatment process.

The findings of the current research provide an increased understanding of the lived experiences of different stakeholders and how the culture of Singapore has an impact on the provision of mental health services and outcomes of people with intellectual disabilities. Recommendations are made for service delivery and for improving the clinical practice of healthcare professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Rose, JohnUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0003-2672-9767
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11226


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year