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Special issue on Challenging Behaviour

Special issue call for papers from Advances in Mental Health & Intellectual Disabilities

Guest Editors

Rory Sheehan, University College London, UK:
André Strydom, King’s College London, UK:
Angela Hassiotis, University College London, UK:

About the Special Issue

A significant number of people with intellectual disability display challenging behaviour (alternatively termed behaviour that challenges) which can have profound impacts on health, quality of life, and might lead to the imposition of restrictive interventions or admission to hospital. Challenging behaviour is a common reason for referral to specialist mental health services and is associated with increased caregiver stress and breakdown of community living placements.

Prevention, timely assessment, and effective management of challenging behaviour is a priority for individuals and a national policy imperative. In the wake of scandals of abuse and poor care the topic has received much attention both within and beyond professional circles. It is the subject of the first NICE guideline that applies to specifically to people with intellectual disability, published in 2015, and followed earlier this year by a further guideline concerning service design and delivery.

Yet the evidence base for management of challenging behaviour has been slow to evolve. Use of psychotropic medication is controversial but remains widespread. Psychosocial interventions are recommended but might not be available or effective.

This special issue of Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disability focuses on challenging behaviour. We welcome original articles on any aspect of this broad area. These may include:

-    Epidemiology, associations, and impact of challenging behaviour
-    Specific types of challenging behaviour (incl. offending behaviour) or challenging behaviour in certain groups
-    Interventions and management
-    Quality improvement initiatives, evaluations of practice, and articles addressing health policy or service provision
-    Review articles

We are keen for service user and carer views and experience to be presented. This might be as joint pieces, commentaries or personal reflections.

Submission Details

Final papers should be submitted via the journal's ScholarOne site at:

NB Please ensure you submit to the special issue entitled ‘Challenging Behaviour’

Author guidelines can be found here:

Deadline for submissions is 1st December 2018.

Further Information

For further information on the special issue or to discuss an idea please contact Rory Sheehan (