Conference Coverage

Patients with intellectual disability require nuanced care



– Some physicians are uncomfortable providing mental health care to patients with intellectual disability (ID) because many of the patients’ communications skills are limited. But many resources are available that can help.

In this video, Nita V. Bhatt, MD, MPH, interviews Julie P. Gentile, MD, about some of those resources and discusses how to approach psychiatric treatment interventions for patients with ID.

In addition to the DSM-5, Dr. Gentile said the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed has published the Diagnostic Manual – Intellectual Disability. Another resource is a practical reference manual originally proposed by one of Dr. Gentile’s residents.

“He came into my office for supervision one day and said, ‘You know, there’s all these nuances for psychiatric treatment in this patient population. So we should write a practice, quick reference manual to help clinicians who aren’t able to spend as much time concentrate on this patient population.’ ”

As a result, several residents and faculty members formed a team to produce an 18-chapter book published this year by Springer called the Guide to Intellectual Disabilities: A Clinical Handbook.

Dr. Bhatt is a staff psychiatrist at Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare, the state psychiatric hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Gentile is professor and chair of the department of psychiatry at Wright State in Dayton. She is also serves as project director of Ohio’s Telepsychiatry Project for Intellectual Disability and has been awarded more than $7 million in grant funding to support her projects in the field of ID.

Dr. Gentile’s work has been funded by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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