Sustainability of health promotion for people with learning disabilities
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Sustainability of health promotion for people with learning disabilities

Mary Codling Primary healthcare lead nurse for learning disabilities, and epilepsy nurse specialist, Berkshire West Primary care Trust, and associate lecturer, Thames Valley University
Nicky Macdonald Health team manager, Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities, Wokingham, Berkshire

Aim To explore whether delivery of a health education programme would enable people with learning disabilities to gain knowledge about health and use it to enhance their wellbeing.

Method A mixed methodological approach, including questionnaires, focus groups and interviews, was used with people with learning disabilities.

Findings Health education enhanced the knowledge of people with learning disabilities about their health, but this was not sustainable. Participants were unable to transfer this new information into their daily lives, and the knowledge gained did not result in demonstrable improvements in health.

Conclusion Healthcare professionals working with people with learning disabilities need to understand and recognise the significant influence of carers and other services. Such support systems need to be included when facilitating and enhancing health education for people with learning disabilities.

Nursing Standard. 25, 22, 42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2011.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review