Help-Seeking by Parental Caregivers of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Dual Diagnosis

  • Shirli WernerEmail author
  • Ira Stern
  • Dana Roth
  • Ariel Tenenbaum
Original Article


This study examined the roles of stigma and of enabling factors in help-seeking by parental caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities and dual diagnosis. Questionnaires were completed by 195 family caregivers. Lower family stigma was related to higher personal enabling factors (e.g. knowledge about services and previous experience in seeking help), which in turn was related to higher help-seeking behaviors. Higher professional enabling factors (e.g. attitude of the professional, services in the vicinity) were related to higher intentions to seek help, which were related to higher help-seeking behaviors. Professionals can help families achieve a greater sense of self-efficacy in their own help-seeking process by providing them with knowledge about services and facilitating a more positive experience in the process.


Intellectual disabilities Dual diagnosis Help-seeking Family caregivers 



This research was supported financially by the State of Lower-Saxony, Hannover, Germany (ZN 2918). We warmly thank the families who participated in the study. We also thank the Ministry of Education, the Disabilities’ Administration of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Social Services, The Outpatient Unit for Neurodevelopmental Psychiatry at Schneider Children’s Medical Center and Beit Issie Shapiro for their help in recruitment. Finally, we thank all the research assistants who made this study possible.


This study was funded by the State of Lower-Saxony, Hannover, Germany (Grant Number ZN 2918).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirli Werner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ira Stern
    • 1
  • Dana Roth
    • 2
  • Ariel Tenenbaum
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Disability Studies, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work & Social WelfareHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Research and Evaluation DepartmentBeit Issie ShapiroRa’ananaIsrael
  3. 3.Down syndrome and the IDD Evaluation CentersHadassah-Hebrew University Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael

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