Psychomotor therapy targeting anger and aggressive behaviour in individuals with mild or borderline intellectual disabilities: A systematic review

Tina Bellemans*, Robert Didden, Jooske T. van Busschbach, Pim T. A. P. Hoek, Mia W. J. Scheffers, Russell B. Lang, William R. Lindsay

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Poor anger regulation is considered a risk factor of aggression in individuals with mild or borderline intellectual disabilities. Psychomotor therapy (PMT) targets anger regulation through body- and movement-oriented interventions. This study aims to inform practitioners on efficacy and research-base of PMT in this population. Method: This systematic review evaluated nine studies which met inclusion criteria in terms of participants, intervention procedures, outcomes and certainty of evidence. Results: Seven studies revealed a substantial reduction of aggressive behaviour or anger. Certainty of evidence was rated inconclusive in most cases due to absence of experimental control. Conclusions: We can conclude that body-oriented PMT, involving progressive relaxation and meditation procedure "Soles of the Feet", is a promising approach. However, the paucity of studies and methodological limitations preclude classifying it as an evidence-based practice. This suggests stronger methodological research and research aimed at PMT's mechanisms of action (e.g., improved interoceptive awareness) is warranted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-130
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of intellectual & developmental disability
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2-Jan-2019


    • Psychomotor therapy
    • body-oriented
    • mild or borderline intellectual disabilities
    • anger
    • aggressive behaviour
    • ADULTS
    • PEOPLE
    • BODY

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