Original Research

Developing a psychoeducational programme for caregivers of people with intellectual disability

Bonita K. Gordon, Nontembeko J. Bila
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1195 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1195 | © 2023 Bonita K. Gordon, Nontembeko J. Bila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 January 2023 | Published: 22 September 2023

About the author(s)

Bonita K. Gordon, Department of Social Work and Criminology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Nontembeko J. Bila, Department of Social Work and Criminology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: In the Western Cape, South Africa, a significant number of individuals with intellectual disabilities are cared for by caregivers who receive little or no compensation, education or support. Despite the unique challenges faced by these caregivers, no psychoeducational programmes have been implemented for this particular population.

Objectives: The study aimed to examine the factors contributing to caregiver distress and develop a solution in the form of a psychoeducational programme for caregivers.

Methods: A mixed-methods research approach was employed. The qualitative phase involved exploratory research to gather fundamental information and gain new insights into caregiver distress. The quantitative phase utilised a ‘one-group pre-test, post-test design’ with a Likert-scale questionnaire to enable meaningful interpretations and comparisons of the psychoeducational programme’s impact and value. The paired t-test was employed to determine significant differences between pre-test and post-test results.

Results: The statistical findings demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge, with 99% of respondents indicating a positive impact in reducing caregiver distress and 85% feeling better equipped to care for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Conclusion: The psychoeducational programme developed in this study had a positive effect on reducing caregiver distress.

Contribution: This knowledge provides valuable insights for healthcare professionals in designing relevant intervention programmes, offering support and providing resources not only for individuals with intellectual disabilities but also for their caregivers.


intellectual disability; formal paid caregivers; informal unpaid caregivers; psychoeducational programme; caregiver distress.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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