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The estimated prevalence of visual impairment among people with learning disabilities in the UK

Authors:
EMERSON Eric, ROBERTSON Janet
Publisher:
Public Health England
Publication year:
2011
Pagination:
35p.
Place of publication:
London

It has been known for some time that visual impairments are more common among people with learning disabilities, especially people with more severe learning disabilities, and that the presence of visual impairments can significantly impair the independence and quality of life of people with learning disabilities. The aim of this report is to estimate how many people with learning disabilities in the UK are likely to have visual impairments. The report suggests that, at present, approximately 50,000 people with learning disabilities who are known to services in the UK have visual impairment. An additional 15,000 are blind. Whilst most children with learning disabilities are known to services, not all adults with learning disabilities are known to adult health or social care learning disabilities services – it is estimated that there may be an additional 44,000 adults with learning disabilities and visual impairment and 11,000 with learning disabilities and blindness. It is estimated that all of these figures will rise by approximately 0.5% each year over the next two decades.

Journal article

A policy that is failing vulnerable people

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, EMERSON Eric
Journal article citation:
Community Living, 22(2), 2008, pp.22-23.
Publisher:
Hexagon Publishing

A recently published knowledge review by SCIE found that placing people way from their families and communities to which they belong is still a widespread practice by authorities and means that thousands of vulnerable people are not receiving the personalised and good quality support. The authors summarise the findings of the review.

Journal article

Reported barriers to the implementation of person-centred planning for people with intellectual disabilities in the UK

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 20(4), July 2007, pp.297-307.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Research in the US and UK has demonstrated the effectiveness of person-centred planning (PCP) for people with intellectual disabilities. However, it is important to acknowledge problems that arise when implementing PCP. This paper considers barriers to PCP reported during a longitudinal study of the impact of PCP. Person-centred planning was introduced over a 2-year period for 93 people of whom 65 had a plan developed. Information was collected regarding barriers to PCP every 3 months from key informants using self-completion questionnaires. Barriers to PCP were widespread particularly in relation to: availability of trained facilitators; availability of services; lack of time and reluctance of people other than paid support staff to engage in the PCP process. It is concluded that services need to be aware of potential barriers to PCP so that strategies can be developed to overcome them, the first of which should be the ongoing training and support of facilitators.

Book Full text available online for free

The impact of person-centred planning: a summary for service users

Author:
ROBERTSON Janet
Publisher:
Lancaster University. Institute for Health Research
Publication year:
2005
Pagination:
4p.
Place of publication:
Lancaster

Across the UK people are adopting person centred approaches when working towards the goals of an individual/group (not only people with learning disabilities).  The Impact of Person Centred Planning, which investigates what PCP can achieve if done well and what inhibits or facilitates the implementation and usefulness of PCP. The report, commissioned by the Department of Health is part of the Learning Disability Research Initiative and part-funded by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

Journal article

Community-based Residential Supports for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour: The Views of Neighbours

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 18(1), March 2005, pp.85-92.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The issue of the views of neighbours of community-based residential supports for people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour has not been examined till date. This study looks at the views of neighbours of two types of community-based residential supports: non-congregate settings where the minority of residents have challenging behaviour; and congregate settings where the majority of residents have challenging behaviour. A self-completion questionnaire was used to collect information on contact between neighbours, residents and staff, and the views of neighbours. Information was also collected by semi-structured interview with service staff on the characteristics of settings. Sixty-four questionnaires were returned. Contact between neighbours and service users was limited for both types of setting, with two-thirds of neighbours not knowing any service users by name, and a third having had no active contact with service users. Neighbours of non-congregate settings were more likely to think that community care was a 'good policy' (76%) than neighbours of congregate settings (53%) and to believe that there were benefits to the neighbourhood from having the group home in the area (46% versus 29%) but these differences were not significant. Contact with people with intellectual disabilities was associated with more positive attitudes to community care and specific characteristics of the settings. Contact between neighbours and people with severe intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour is limited. However, the majority of neighbours are positive about community care and the problems reported by neighbours are predominantly minor. The results point to the key role that contact plays in fostering positive attitudes. Findings regarding differences between congregate and non-congregate settings are limited by the small number of responses from neighbours of congregate settings.

Book Full text available online for free

Health checks for people with learning disabilities: a systematic review of evidence

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, ROBERTS Hazel, EMERSON Eric
Publisher:
Improving Health and Lives: Learning Disabilities Observatory
Publication year:
2010
Pagination:
55p.
Place of publication:
Stockton-on-Tees

A total of 38 peer reviewed articles published in English between 1989 and 2010 were included in this systematic review. Most were based on studies conducted in the United Kingdom. The majority of the studies looked at the outcome of a single health check; only three publications were based on randomized controlled trials. The content of the health checks varied widely and they were conducted in a variety of settings. It was common for the health check to be carried out by a general practitioner. The results of the studies indicated that introduction of health checks for people with learning disabilities typically leads to the detection of unmet, unrecognised and potentially treatable health conditions (including serious and life threatening conditions such as cancer, heart disease and dementia); and targeted actions to address health needs. Few studies investigated the extent to which the provision of health checks leads to short, medium or long term changes in health status and the authors emphasise the importance of this provision. The authors conclude that, given the specific difficulties faced by people with learning disabilities targeted health checks should be considered to constitute an effective and important adjustment to the operation of primary health care services in the UK. Areas for future research are outlined.

Journal article

Participation in sports by people with intellectual disabilities in England: a brief report

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, EMERSON Eric
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23(6), November 2010, pp.616-622.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Sports participation has often been linked to a range of physical, social and mental health benefits. However, little is known about the extent to which people with intellectual disabilities take part in sports. This study investigated participation in sports and factors associated with participation by people with intellectual disabilities in England. Data on participation in sports and measures of personal characteristics, living situation, social participation, and socioeconomic status associated with participation were analysed based on a sample of 2,784 people with intellectual disabilities in England. Findings revealed that, overall, 41% of participants had taken part in sports in the past month, most of whom had enjoyed it. Of those who did not take part, 34% said they would like to. Participation in sport was associated with some personal characteristics but not with support needs. It was also associated with indicators of socioeconomic status. The authors concluded that interventions to increase participation in sports by people with intellectual disabilities may make a significant contribution to improving their general health and well-being.

Book Full text available online for free

The mental health needs of children and adolescents with learning disabilities in Manchester: results of a city-wide survey

Authors:
EMERSON Eric, ROBERTSON Janet
Publisher:
University of Lancaster. Institute for Health Research
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
20p.
Place of publication:
Manchester

Just under half of all school-age children with learning difficulties in Manchester also have significant mental health needs. Significant levels of unmet mental health need were more common among children who were more delayed in the area of communication and children who had difficulty seeing. Just under half of the informal carers (primarily mothers) of children with learning difficulties in Manchester also have significant mental health needs. Significant levels of unmet mental health need were more common among carers who were bringing up a child who had significant mental health problems or a child who was more delayed in communicating, belonged to a South Asian minority ethnic community or lived in central Manchester. Specialised services for children with mental health needs only reached a minority of children in need.

Book Full text available online for free

Quality and costs of community-based residential support for people with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour

Authors:
ROBERTSON Janet, et al
Publisher:
University of Lancaster. Institute for Health Research
Publication year:
2002
Pagination:
24p.
Place of publication:
Lancaster

The aim was to compare the quality and costs of two approaches to providing community-based residential supports to people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour: non-congregate settings where the minority of residents have challenging behaviour; and congregate settings where the majority of residents have challenging behaviour. Congregate care was associated with higher costs, higher staffing ratios, and better quality internal working practices. However, these inputs did not translate to better outcomes for residents. Non-congregate care was associated with greater access to day activities, less reliance of medication and physical restraint to control challenging behaviour, and less risk. Levels of staff contact and participant engagement were low across both models of care.

Book Full text available online for free

Future demand for services for young adults with learning disabilities from South Asian and black communities in Birmingham

Authors:
EMERSON Eric, ROBERTSON Janet
Publisher:
University of Lancaster. Institute for Health Research
Publication year:
2001
Pagination:
61p.
Place of publication:
Lancaster

South Asian families supporting a child or adult with learning disabilities at home often do so in the face of considerable social and economic adversity. Poverty and poor housing are endemic. South Asian carers receive little support from outside of their immediate family. Two thirds of carers receive no help at all with care from either their own or their spouse’s family. Semi-formal supports such as Parent Support Groups, Social Groups, and Temples or Mosques, play a very small role as a source of support for carers. Carers face considerable difficulties in getting access to specialist support services.

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