Estimates of the numbers of people with learning disabilities who also have a co-morbid psychiatric disorder vary considerably between studies, from 14 to 39%. This review set out to look at the knowledge, attitudes and training of professionals supporting people with both learning disability and psychoatric disorder, termed in this study, dual diagnosis.
The authors state at the outset that they believe that mental health workers supporting people with dual diagnosis must have adequate knowledge and positive attitudes if they are to provide adequate care and that well designed and delivered training is the means through which these aims can be achieved.
They reviewed the literature published in English since 1995 which examined knowledge, attitudes and training of psychiatrists and other professionals supporting people with dual diagnosis and found twenty seven studies to be reviewed.
From an examination of the studies, the authors conclude that knowledge and attitudes were poor with much room for improvement.
They call for enhanced training and practice opportunities. They also make a cumber of recommendations for improving training opportunities and call for further research.
Mental health: Knowledge, attitudes and training of professionals on dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and psychiatric disorder, Werner, S. & Stawski, M., in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56: 291–304