How to give an intramuscular injection to an adult with an intellectual disability

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People with intellectual disabilities can have various healthcare needs across their lifespan, which may be closely linked to genetic, biological and/or psychosocial factors. As a result, they may require medicines – some of which may be administered intramuscularly – for various clinical reasons, including as part of the treatment of a range of comorbid physical and mental health conditions. Additionally, this population may not fully understand why certain medicines are administered via the intramuscular (IM) route, nor the potential risks that are involved. Some people with intellectual disabilities may find it distressing to receive medicines via this route, and they may depend on others when making decisions in relation to IM injections. Therefore, it is important for nurses to establish a rapport with patients with intellectual disabilities and gain their consent for the procedure. Nurses also require knowledge of the preparation and administration of IM injections to ensure positive health outcomes.

This article aims to enhance intellectual disability nurses’ knowledge of this procedure, and to explain how they can mitigate the potential physical and psychological effects that IM injections may have for people with intellectual disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-44
JournalLearning Disability Practice
Issue number5
Early online date13 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 07 Oct 2021


  • Learning disability healthcare clinical nursing practice
  • professional decision-making
  • clinical skills
  • Clinical
  • Drug administration control, Drug dosing, PBPK modelling, Model predictive control
  • Injections
  • nursing care
  • medicines management


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