Family Views of the Quality of Residential Supports

Patricia Noonan Walsh, Christine Linehan, John Hillery, Joe Durkan, Eric Emerson, Chris Hatton, Janet Robertson, Nicky Gregory, Sophia Kessissoglou, Angela Hallam, Martin Knapp, Krister Jaerbrink, Ann Netten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The quality and costs of residential supports provided to adults with intellectual disabilities (IDs) living in the UK and Ireland were investigated. The present paper describes findings related to relatives' level of contact with their family members and their appraisal of current residential supports. The relatives (n=210) of adults living in campus settings and dispersed housing completed a questionnaire devised to determine their satisfaction with their family members' current residential supports and were invited to name both the features which they like and features which they wish to see improved. Relatives whose family members with IDs lived closer to the family home, who were younger and who took part in more daily activities in their current residence reported higher levels of contact The respondents believed that current residential supports were better than those previously received. While relatives of residents in campus settings reported higher levels of family contact, satisfaction ratings were similar for relatives of residents in both campus settings and dispersed housing. Staff support, physical aspects of the residences and the standard of care provided were the aspects of residential supports which were most liked; preferred improvements included higher staff ratios and better day activities. Levels of family contact may be predicted by distance as well as by residents' characteristics and type of residence. A considerable overlap among groups of relatives as to ratings of satisfaction and the aspects of residences which they liked was apparent Research strategies targeting informed appraisals of service quality on the part of both residents and their relatives are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-309
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


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