This Scottish study set out to review the evidence on support for spirituality for people with learning disabilities, an area the author describes as relevant but neglected as a topic and rarely addressed by healthcare professionals.
The author met with a wide range of stakeholders including people with disabilities, local faith groups, service managers, parents and faith-based professionals, to pose three questions:
- Is spirituality a legitimate topic for healthcare professionals bring to clinical contacts?
- What knowledge do stakeholders have about training issues?
- Is accessible information available and might communication passports be helpful?.
The author found qualified support for the first question regarding whether spirituality was a legitimate topic to bring to the clinical setting but almost no awareness of availability of training in this area. It was not possible within the confines of the resources available to audit the approach to spirituality of the community teams.
The author suggests however that there is a danger in allowing concerns relating to financial pressures to preclude healthcare staff tapping into a potential source support for meaningful relationships.
Is there a case for community learning disability teams considering the spiritual needs of people with learning disabilities? Wilson C, in Tizard Learning Disability Review 16, 3, 31-40