Lifestyle Opportunities: supporting a healthy lifestyle of people with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities


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    People with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities (ID) have a higher risk of health problems and, therefore, healthy living is of great importance for them. To achieve this, this group requires support from the people around them such as relatives and direct support professionals (DSPs). However, DSPs do not feel sufficiently equipped to provide this support. The objective of Annelies Overwijk’s research was to determine how to facilitate a healthy lifestyle for people with moderate to profound ID by improving the lifestyle support provided by DSPs. To this end, DSPs’ support needs were first explored after which a training and education program was developed, implemented, and evaluated.
    In this thesis, DSPs indicated that they need knowledge and skills to provide lifestyle support. One of the skills they can help use to stimulate people with ID is the use of behavioral change techniques. This thesis shows that, although a number of these techniques are used in daily practice, they are not yet consciously utilized to improve lifestyle support. Since the attitude of DSPs to support healthy nutrition is important, a practical questionnaire was also developed to measure this.
    Based on DSPs’ support needs for encouraging a healthy lifestyle, a training and education program was developed together with them and experts. This program consists of an e-learning and three in-person sessions that can be adapted to the support needs of the DSPs and the team and proved to be promising in an implementation study. The products are free and available on:
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • van der Schans, Cornelis, Supervisor
    • van der Putten, Annette, Supervisor
    • Waninge, Aly, Co-supervisor
    • Hilgenkamp, Thessa, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning6-apr.-2022
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2022

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