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Journal article

Factors that influence the quality of paid support for adults with acquired neurological disability: scoping review and thematic synthesis

Acquired brain injury People with disability

Purpose: Theoretically, individualised funding schemes empower people with disability (PWD) to choose high quality support services in line with their needs and preferences. Given the importance of support, the aim of this scoping review was to understand the factors that influence the quality of paid disability support for adults with acquired neurological disability.

Methods: A comprehensive scoping review of the published literature from 2009–2019 was conducted on five databases: Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO and Scopus.

Results: Of the 3391 records retrieved, 16 qualitative articles were eligible for review. Thematic synthesis of the findings revealed six key interrelated themes: (1) choice and control, (2) individualised support, (3) disability support worker (DSW) qualities, (4) DSW competence, (5) PWD – DSW relationship, and (6) accessing consistent support. The themes depict factors influencing the quality of paid disability support from the perspective of PWD, close others and DSWs.

Conclusions: Although the evidence base is sparse, the factors identified were in line with international rights legislation and policy ideals. The findings can provide insights to PWD hiring and managing support, and facilitate the delivery of quality disability support. Further research is required to understand the interactions between the factors and how to optimise support in practice.

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