Risk management is an integral part of supporting people with learning disabilities. The researchers in this study were interested to look at the involvement of people in making decisions about risks in their lives. They wanted to look at the how staff considered the individual’s ability to assess the associated risks and make an informed choice.
To do this, they worked with thirteen people in a residential service who were reviewed under the organisation’s risk management process They carried out a thematic analysis exploring the participants’ knowledge and understanding of risk management to consider the extent of their ability to make informed choices.
The analysis identified two main meta-themes, the lack of awareness about risk management and overall awareness of risk management. In addition, they identified four other meta-themes, the extent of risk management awareness, the locus of control, compliance and empowerment.
They found that nine of the thirteen participants showed some knowledge and awareness of risk management and wanted to contribute to process, despite having not been consulted and having had no opportunity to be involved in the risk management process up to that point.
They conclude from their analysis that the majority of people in the small sample did have some awareness of the purpose of risk management and were able to make some partially informed decisions about whether or not they wanted to be involved. They suggest that professionals need to continue to actively to involve people with learning disabilities in the management of their own risk.
Do Service Users with Intellectual Disabilities Want to be Involved in the Risk Management Process? A Thematic Analysis, Kilcommons, A. M. et al in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25: 433–444