Listening to people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities: a literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Listening to people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities: a literature review

Anne-Marie Martin Lecturer, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Edina Hanley PhD candidate, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand that active listening is a fundamental skill that underpins effective communication with people with intellectual disabilities

  • To appreciate that listening to the perspectives of people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities is crucial to providing person-centred care

  • To reflect on how contextual factors such as physical environment and your role in that environment can affect your ability to actively listen to people with intellectual disabilities

This article presents a literature review that explored communication partners’ experiences of listening or attending to people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities during interactions. Findings suggest that the context in which the interaction takes place, and the role of the communication partner, influences the structure of the interaction. Additionally, an optimal balance between communication partner sensitivity to the person’s communication behaviours, and knowledge of the person, is valuable when listening to and attempting to understand what the person is expressing. The authors make recommendations for research, practice and education to support and develop the evidence base and practice in this area of learning disability nursing.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2200

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@am_martin_

Correspondence

a.martin@ucc.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

Martin A-M, Hanley E (2022) Listening to people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities: a literature review. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2200

Published online: 24 November 2022

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