Quality Improvement in services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

By Virginie Cobigo

Cobigo, V. (2015). Quality Improvement in services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CRECS Ten Minute Window, 3(1)

This video summarizes a paper published in the Journal on Developmental Disabilities (open access, provide web link). Services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have transitioned toward or currently take a community-based approach to enhance the social inclusion of their users. This paper presents principles that could guide quality improvement monitoring in community services for adults with IDD. The principles have been developed through a series of activities aiming to achieve a better understanding of relevant service outcomes, particularly social inclusion and choice. These activities were comprised of consultations with various stakeholder groups, including persons with IDD, and reviews of available data about the users of services and supports for Ontarians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The five proposed principles include: (1) Assessment and monitoring activities are embedded within a continuous quality improvement cycle; (2) Activities focus on personal outcomes that are important to persons with IDD; (3) Activities capture the complexity and multidimensional nature of the outcomes being measured; (4) Knowledge is developed from multiple perspectives; and (5) Knowledge gained is meaningful, actionable and informs policy and service improvements. Building on these principles, the paper concludes with a possible way forward in operationalizing a quality improvement assessment and monitoring system for services for adults with IDD.

See the video on CRECS Youtube Channel.

Keywords: Evaluation, Research, Community Services, Social Services

About the Author:

Virginie Cobigo is a Clinical Psychologist. She obtained her PhD in Psychology from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. She has experience working with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Canada, France and England. Her research supports evidence-based practice in mental health and disability services and policy, and aims to promote social inclusion, choice and health equity. For more information on my current research activities: www.mapsresearch.ca  et www.hcardd.ca

Further Reading:

Cobigo et al. – web link to the JoDD paper under review.


The study was undertaken as part of the Multidimensional Assessment of Providers and Systems (MAPS; www.mapsresearch.ca). MAPS (2013) was supported by a research grant from the Government of Ontario`s Ministry of Community and Social Services. The views expressed in this report are not necessarily the views of all MAPS partners, researchers, collaborators or those of the Ministry.

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