Community-based residential supports for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour: The views of neighbours

Janet Robertson, Eric Emerson, Lisa Pinkney, Emma Caesar, David Felce, Andrea Meek, Deborah Carr, Kathy Lowe, Martin Knapp, Angela Hallam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background The issue of the views of neighbours of community-based residential supports for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour has not been examined till date. This study looks at the views of neighbours of two types of community-based residential supports: non-congregate settings where the minority of residents have challenging behaviour; and congregate settings where the majority of residents have challenging behaviour. Materials and methods A self-completion questionnaire was used to collect information on contact between neighbours, residents and staff, and the views of neighbours. Information was also collected by semi-structured interview with service staff on the characteristics of settings. Results Sixty-four questionnaires were returned. Contact between neighbours and service users was limited for both types of setting, with two-thirds of neighbours not knowing any service users by name, and a third having had no active contact with service users. Neighbours of non-congregate settings were more likely to think that community care was a 'good policy' (76%) than neighbours of congregate settings (53%) and to believe that there were benefits to the neighbourhood from having the group home in the area (46% versus 29%) but these differences were not significant. Contact with people with intellectual disabilities was associated with more positive attitudes to community care and specific characteristics of the settings. Conclusions Contact between neighbours and people with severe intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour is limited. However, the majority of neighbours are positive about community care and the problems reported by neighbours are predominantly minor. The results point to the key role that contact plays in fostering positive attitudes. Findings regarding differences between congregate and non-congregate settings are limited by the small number of responses from neighbours of congregate settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Community care
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Neighbours


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