Group treatment for men with intellectual disability and sexually abusive behaviour: service user views.

University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability (Impact Factor: 1.02). 07/2007; 32(2):106-16. DOI: 10.1080/13668250701413715
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Men with intellectual disability (ID) and sexually abusive behaviour are a disempowered and marginalised group. Nevertheless, as service users, they can be consulted and involved in a variety of different ways, including ascertaining their views of the services they receive.
A group of 16 men with ID and sexually abusive behaviour were interviewed to ascertain their views approximately 2 months after completing a 1-year group cognitive behavioural treatment (CBT) for sexual offending. Two raters independently reviewed interview transcripts and participant responses were summarised.
The most salient components of treatment recalled by participants were: sex education; legal and illegal behaviours and their consequences; and discussions about specific sexual assaults. Only 3 of the 16 participants stated that they had problems with sexual offending, and only 1 identified that he had learnt about victim empathy, although this is an important component of treatment. Having support, the knowledge that they had the same problems as other group members, and talking through problems, were appreciated as some of the "best things" about the group, while the "worst things" were generally person-specific. Participants had mixed views on talking about their own offences during group sessions and, overall, viewed the experience as difficult but helpful.
Valuable insights into the aspects of treatment that group members found useful were explored. Such insights are often not captured by studies that assess the efficacy of treatment models using treatment-specific measures only, and these are important in defining the quality of services provided.

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