Enhancing mental health care for autistic individuals: bridging gaps and breaking barriers


Today Ruby Jarvis presents two new reviews from the Mental Health Policy Research Unit, which summarise the adjustments that clinicians can make to improve mental health care for autistic children, young people and adults.

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Life histories as counter-narratives for people with learning disabilities


Gerry Bennison examines an Icelandic study where four women with learning disabilities use life histories to challenge the historical, institutional accounts of their lives.

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Outcome measure for psychological therapy for people with learning disabilities developed as part of inclusive research process

health problem shutterstock

Background Since the publication of Positive Practice Guidance on access to psychological therapies there have been a number of studies looking at the barriers to such access and some of the approaches to ensure reasonable adjustments are made. The researchers in this study were concerned that the tools being used to evaluate the of impact [read the full story…]

Researchers with learning disabilities get mixed response from GP surgeries when looking at annual health checks

Health meeting

Earlier this week we posted about some guidance from the Royal College of GPs concerning eye care for people with learning disabilities. This guidance drew attention to the need for GPs to include a check on vision in annual health checks. There is good evidence that health checks work , but also increasingly concerns that [read the full story…]

Adults with learning disabilities directly report more health problems, particularly headaches and pain, than their carers


Getting information from people with learning disabilities about their health is often done through discussions with professionals and carers. The authors of this study wanted to know more about the health problems people with learning disabilities themselves reported and whether there were differences from what their carers’ reported. They explored this by carrying out a [read the full story…]

Research collaborations between academics and people with learning disabilities can strengthen the ethical integrity of research

Analysis showed significant lack of robust evidence on impact or cost effectiveness

The involvement of people with learning disabilities in research has been increasing. The authors of this review stress the important benefits of this inclusion. However, the involvement raises a number of ethical questions, as they can be vulnerable in the context of research. This review looked at peer-reviewed literature on ethical practices in research with [read the full story…]

Including people with learning disabilities as researchers and participants in RCTs is possible

our voice

There are specific difficulties in developing an evidence base for practice in supporting people with learning disabilities. There is general agreement that some degree of sprcialist services are required, but little agreement about the nature of these services or the best method of their delivery. It may be possible to transfer ideas directly from mental [read the full story…]

Involvement in research helped by group analysis of data

Flipchart men

This study set out to look at how an inclusive approach to data analysis in a  research project with a group of self advocates increased the group’s capacity for self advocacy. The researchers presented numerical data in three visual formats for analysis, which were analysed and interpreted by 17 members of a People First group [read the full story…]