Background: Due to increased life expectancy, just as with the general population, people with intellectual disabilities are experiencing, and dying from, chronic and life-limiting conditions. This has led to an increase in the need for end-of-life care for people with intellectual disabilities. However, there is limited evidence as to what constitutes good end-of-life care from the perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities and their family members.
Methods: The study reported here aimed to nd out the care needs of people with intellectual disabilities at the end of life in Ireland. A grounded theory approach was employed to explore the perspectives of the participants. After obtaining appropriate ethical approval, 19 semi-structured individual interviews were carried out with 11 people with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities and eight family members to collect data which was subsequently analyzed through constant comparative analysis.
Results: The views of the participants suggested that providing personal care while vulnerable and dying, being with and communicating with the dying person, and meeting their spiritual needs, were considered as being essential at the end of life for people with intellectual disabilities.
Conclusion: The fndings from this study have shown that people with intellectual disabilities can engage with those around them and demonstrate how they would like to be cared for, and discuss what would be considered as being good care at the end of life.