Background Poor postural care can have severe and life-threatening complications. This scoping review aims to map and summarize existing evidence regarding postural care for people with intellectual disabilities and severely impaired motor function. Method Studies were identified via electronic database searches (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science) covering January 1990 to March 2016, and email requests to researcher networks. Results were collated via descriptive numerical summary of studies and thematic analysis. Results Twenty-three studies were identified and summarized narratively in relation to three themes: characteristics and prevalence, interventions and service related issues. The evidence base is small with significant gaps. Lack of evidence for night-time positioning equipment and 24-hr postural care needs to be addressed urgently. Conclusion Future research should be clearly directed towards ascertaining how best postural care interventions can be employed to help improve the health and quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities.
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