There have been a number of initiatives in recent years to improve the quality of information available for people with learning disabilities regarding sexual health. The researchers in this study were interested in looking at interventions specifically designed for people with mild to moderate learning disabilities. They were specifically interested on the impact of a computer-based interactive multimedia programme designed to teach HIV/AIDS knowledge, skills and decision making.
They worked with 25 women with mild to moderate learning disabilities who evaluated the programme using a quasi-experimental within-subjects design. Each of the women completed five qualitative and quantitative instruments that assessed HIV knowledge, and decision-making skills regarding HIV prevention practices and condom application skills. They also worked with 18 service providers working with women with learning disabilities who reviewed the programme.
They found that the women involved in the research had statistically significant increases in every area of knowledge and skill that had been tested before and after the intervention. The service providers who evaluated the programme also rated it highly on several outcome measures, including stimulation, relevance and usability.
The authors conclude that this computer-based interactive multimedia programme was effective for the small group of participants in the study in increasing HIV/AIDS knowledge and skills.
They point out that the programme did not require staff to be present to deliver the content, and so could be an efficient method of teaching for this group. They suggest the programme has the
potential for broad distribution and implementation by medical practitioners, and public health offices.
A computer-based interactive multimedia program to reduce HIV transmission for women with intellectual disability, Wells J et al., in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 56: 371–381.