Knowledge of learning disability: Twenty years on

Karen McKenzie, George Murray*, Rachel Martin, Dale Metcalfe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Aims: An understanding of learning disability is important for ensuring people are identified and receive the support they need. This study aimed to explore the knowledge of the criteria for learning disability in community staff.

Methods: A total of 264 social care staff were asked to provide their understanding of the term ‘learning disability’ and their responses were coded against the three diagnostic criteria.

Results: The most commonly identified criterion related to intellectual functioning, with childhood onset being mentioned least often. Just under 5% of participants identified all three criteria for learning disability and over 50% identified none or only one of the criteria.

Conclusions: While the results were an improvement on the results found over 20 years ago, they indicate an ongoing need for improving understanding. Implications for the role of learning disability nurses in addressing this need are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLearning Disability Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jan 2022


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