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Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Background: Out of area placements for people with challenging behaviour represent an expensive and often ineffective strategy for meeting the needs of this service user group. Methods: More than 800 agencies and service settings in a large area of South Wales were screened to identify children and adults with challenging behaviour against a number of defined operational criteria. Detailed data on identified individuals and the services they received were collected by interviewing key informants. Univariate and multivariate statistics were employed to identify predictors of out of area placement. Results: In total, 1458 people were identified. Full data were available for 901 participants, 97 of whom were placed out of area. Predictors of out of area placement included behaviours resulting in physical injury and exclusion from service settings, a history of formal detention under the mental health act, the presence of mental health problems, a diagnosis of autism and higher total score on the Adaptive Behaviour Scale. Out of area placements were typically of high cost, and associated with only limited evidence of improved service quality. Conclusions: Identifying predictors for out of area placement can be used to highlight deficiencies in local services and individuals at increased risk of exclusion from local services.