Cluster housing for adults with intellectual disabilities

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24 Citations (Scopus)


While there is extensive evidence on the overall benefits of deinstitutionalisation, the move from institutional care to providing accommodation and support in small to medium sized dispersed housing schemes has not gone uncontested. Recently, a number of commentators have argued for the development of cluster housing on the basis that it may provide a "connected" community of people with intellectual disabilities. In the present study, comparisons were made, controlling for a range of participant characteristics, on a range of input, process and outcome variables between 169 adults with intellectual disabilities living in cluster housing and 741 adults with intellectual disabilities living in dispersed housing. Participants supported in cluster housing were more likely to live in larger settings, be supported by fewer staff, be exposed to greater changes/inconsistencies in living arrangements (their home also being used for short-term care for others and greater use of casual/bank staff), be exposed to more restrictive management practices (seclusion, sedation, physical restraint, polypharmacy), lead more sedentary lives, be underweight, and participate in fewer and a more restricted range of leisure, social and friendship activities. There were few potential benefits associated with living in cluster housing. It is concluded on the basis of the available evidence that cluster housing schemes offer a poorer quality of care and quality of life than dispersed housing schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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