Clinical and cost evaluation of intensive support team (IST) models for adults with intellectual disabilities who display challenging behaviour: a comparative cohort study protocol

Angela Hassiotis, Athanasia Kouroupa, Rebecca Jones, Nicola Morant, Ken Courtenay, Ian Hall, Vicky Crossey, Renee Romeo, Laurence Taggart, Peter Langdon, Victoria Ratti, Vincent Kirchner, Brynmor Lloyd-Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction Approximately 17% of adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in the community display behaviours that challenge. Intensive support teams (ISTs) have been recommended to provide high-quality responsive care aimed at avoiding unnecessary admissions and reducing lengthy inpatient stays in England. We have identified two models of ISTs (model 1: enhanced provision and model 2: independent provision). This study aims to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the two models of ISTs. Methods and analysis A cohort of 226 adults with ID displaying behaviour that challenges who receive support from ISTs from each model will be recruited and assessed at baseline and 9 months later to compare the clinical and cost-effectiveness between models. The primary outcome is reduction in challenging behaviour measured by the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist-Community (ABC-C). The mean difference in change in ABC score between the two IST models will be estimated from a multilevel linear regression model. Secondary outcomes include mental health status, clinical risk, quality of life, health-related quality of life, level of functioning and service use. We will undertake a cost-effectiveness analysis taking both a health and social care and wider societal perspective. Semistructured interviews will be conducted with multiple stakeholders (ie, service users, paid/family carers, IST managers/staff) to investigate the experience of IST care as well as an online survey of referrers to capture their contact with the teams. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved by the London-Bromley Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 18/LO/0890). Informed consent will be obtained from the person with ID, or a family/nominated consultee for those lacking capacity and from his/her caregivers. The findings of the study will be disseminated to academic audiences, professionals, experts by experience and arm's-length bodies and policymakers via publications, seminars and digital platforms. Trial registration number Registry (NCT03586375).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere043358
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 30 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding The study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DH) programme (project reference: 16/01/24). This publication presents independent research funded by the NIHR.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2021.


  • adult psychiatry
  • delirium & cognitive disorders
  • organisation of health services
  • psychiatry
  • Humans
  • England
  • Male
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • London
  • Quality of Life
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Intellectual Disability/therapy
  • Cohort Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and cost evaluation of intensive support team (IST) models for adults with intellectual disabilities who display challenging behaviour: a comparative cohort study protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this