Understanding and managing trauma in people with severe and profound learning disabilities
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Understanding and managing trauma in people with severe and profound learning disabilities

Julie Calveley @NACWellbeing Director, NAC (Non-Verbal Affective Care), England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the effects of trauma on the mind, brain and body

  • To identify some of the potential signs and symptoms of trauma

  • To consider strategies that you could use in your practice to support people with severe and profound learning disabilities who may have experienced trauma

Trauma has been described as an experience that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has produced traumatic effects in many people, particularly on those with severe and profound learning disabilities, who are generally at higher risk of trauma than others. Understanding the neurobiological responses to trauma may elucidate which experiential strategies could be used to support people with severe and profound learning disabilities who may have experienced trauma. In particular, trauma can lead to the loss of one’s sense of safety, so restoring this sense of safety can be crucial in supporting recovery.

This article details some of the potential signs and symptoms of trauma and describes some of its effects on the mind, brain and body. It also explores strategies that learning disability nurses can use to assist people with severe and profound learning disabilities to recover from trauma.

Learning Disability Practice. 25, 1, 14-20. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2021.e2165

Correspondence

julie@nacwellbeing.org

Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared

Permission

To reuse this article or for information about reprints and permissions, please contact permissions@rcni.com

Write for us

For information about writing for RCNi journals, contact writeforus@rcni.com

For author guidelines, go to rcni.com/writeforus

RCNi Learning

For related learning modules, go to rcnilearning.com

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or