Supported accommodation for people with intellectual disabilities and quality of life: An overview

Patricia Noonan Walsh, Eric Emerson, Carolyne Lobb, Chris Hatton, Valerie Bradley, Robert L. Schalock, Charles Moseley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the findings of a review of evidence related to quality of life in models of supported accommodation for adults with intellectual disabilities identified in English-speaking nation deinstitutionalization and postdeinstitutionalization studies. An international literature-based investigation of research published between 1995 and 2005 in English-language peer-reviewed academic journals was conducted to: (1) review the outcome of deinstitutionalization and postinstitutionalization studies; (2) examine instruments used to measure outcomes for individuals; and (3) compare costs and benefits associated with different models of supported accommodation. In the deinstitutionalization studies, there was consistent evidence of greater choice and self-determination, participation in social networks or relationships and community-based activities, and personal satisfaction in community-based settings. Postdeinstitutionalization studies provided consistent evidence for greater choice, self-determination, and participation in community-based activities in smaller settings, but no evidence for greater physical health or material well-being, and little evidence for a relationship between type of setting and employment. Future research is needed to meet methodological challenges identified here, to investigate the apparent failure of smaller residences to improve residents' well-being and to study systematically factors not directly addressed in the studies under review: poverty and income, organizational culture, and geographical variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of life framework
  • Supported accommodation


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