Family quality of life before and after out-of-home placement of a family member with an intellectual disability

Shirli Werner, Meaghan Edwards*, Nehama T. Baum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The effect of out-of-home residential placement on families has been previously studied. However, no study has examined this issue through the lens of "family quality of life" (FQoL). The aim of this study was to produce a picture of FQoL among families with a member with an intellectual disability (ID) who has multiple diagnoses (i.e., an additional condition such as a behavioral or emotional disturbance). FQoL before and after residential placement was examined. Sixteen family carers with family members with an ID participated in an in-depth interview focusing on five areas of FQoL: stress, coping, emotional impact, family relationships, and overall FQoL. The authors found that most families reported positive emotional changes after the placement occurred, except for lingering guilt and worry. In addition, after placement, families experienced more freedom, enhanced FQoL, and an improvement in familial relationships. Coping mechanisms, including problem-focused and emotion-focused coping, as well as external support resources, were utilized before and after placement. These findings suggest that an out-of-home residential placement of a family member with an ID both positively and negatively impacts the entire family. The authors propose a number of support recommendations that might serve to enhance the QoL of the individual with a disability, specific family members, and the family as a whole.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Developmental disabilities
  • Family quality of life
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Multiple diagnoses
  • Residential placement


Dive into the research topics of 'Family quality of life before and after out-of-home placement of a family member with an intellectual disability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this