Children with intellectual disability frequently have difficulties in adapting to their environment.
The extent of the experienced problems does not only depend on cognitive functioning but is influenced by other factors, such as the presence of a psychiatric disorder or other brain disorders, or adverse environmental factors.
Several epidemiological studies show that children with intellectual disabilities are at an increased risk to develop psychiatric disorders. This is also true for youth with a mild intellectual disability and even those with borderline intellectual functioning (mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID)).
Psychiatric disorders are often overlooked because behavioral problems are rather attributed to the intellectual disability. Consequently, effective psychiatric interventions, which are needed to improve the level of functioning, are not applied.
This review aimed to systematically evaluate the currently available, qualitatively sound research concerning the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, specifically directed at psychiatric disorders in children with MBID. Assessed for eligibility were 1409 unique reports, and the review ultimately included only 12 reports.
Review of the results and meta-analyses showed that the majority of studies suffer from multiple limitations and that methodological variations between studies are extensive. This possibly reflects the high variance of factors that may be involved in MBID. It will be important in future research to address multi-causality.
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