Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between some main characteristics of different living arrangements and the quality of life (QoL) of their users with severe intellectual disability and low-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Design/methodology/approach Study participants were assessed for ASD severity through the Childhood Autism Rating Scale or the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS): for behavioral problems with the aberrant behavior checklist (ABC); for perception of efficacy and satisfaction with care, through an adapted Visual Analogue Scale; and for QoL with the QoL inventory in residential environments (validated in French as Inventaire de la Qualité de Vie en Milieu Résidentiel). Because the goal was to define a “residential profile (RP),” the authors evaluated each participating residence with the Working Methods Scale and the questionnaire on residential parameters. Findings The RP allowed for the classification of the residences into three clusters. The authors found no clear relationship between QoL and the RP clusters, but the authors found the RP clusters to be significantly correlated with ABC factors F1 (irritability, agitation, crying) and F2 (lethargy, social withdrawal), and VABS scores for living, socialization, and motor skills. Originality/value RPs were more strongly correlated with ABC items and the ability to cope with everyday life than with QoL. The authors hypothesize that RP is correlated with both aberrant behavior and the autonomy of residents and that QoL remains relatively stable. Therefore, RP is correlated with the status of the residents; however, this appears not to be correlated with their QoL.
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