Psychosis and adults with intellectual disabilities: prevalence, incidence, and related factors

Sally-Ann Cooper, Elita Smiley, Jillian Morrison, Linda Allan, Andrew Williamson, Janet Finlayson, Alison Jackson, Dipali Mantry

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the point prevalence, incidence, and remission over a 2-year period of psychosis in adults with intellectual disabilities, and to investigate demographic and clinical factors hypothesised to be associated with psychosis.
Method: A population-based cohort of adults with intellectual disabilities (n = 1,023) was longitudinally studied. Comprehensive face-to-face mental health assessments to detect psychosis, plus review of family physician, psychiatric, and psychology case notes were undertaken at two time points, 2 years apart.
Results: Point prevalence is 2.6% (95% CI = 1.8–3.8%) to 4.4% (95% CI = 3.2–5.8%), dependant upon the diagnostic criteria employed. Two-year incidence is 1.4% (95% CI = 0.6–2.6), and for first episode is 0.5% (95% CI = 0.1–1.3). Compared with the general population, the standardised incidence ratio for first episode psychosis is 10.0 (95% CI = 2.1–29.3). Full remission after 2 years is 14.3%. Visual impairment, previous long-stay hospital residence, smoking, and not having epilepsy were independently associated with psychosis, whereas other factors relevant to the general population were not.
Conclusions: The study of psychosis in persons with intellectual disabilities benefits the population with intellectual disabilities, and advances the understanding of psychosis for the general population. Mental health professionals need adequate knowledge in order to address the high rates of psychosis in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number7
Early online date14 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • intellectual disabilities
  • psychosis
  • mental disorders
  • epidemiology


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