Mainstream mental health staff attitudes to supporting people with learning disabilities explored in study


There are more and more examples of mainstream mental health services supporting people with learning disabilities when they have mental health problems. The authors of this cross sectional study were keen to explore whether the attitudes of staff in mainstream mental health services towards people with learning disabilities was in any way negative and whether [read the full story…]

Learning disability support workers call for more information on side effects of psychotropic medications

Antipsychotic overprescribing is common in people with learning disabilities who have no record of severe mental illness.

Studies have suggested that anti-psychotic medications comprise between 30–50% of all psychotropics prescribed for people with learning disabilities, often prescribed for people with challenging behaviours with no diagnosis of mental illness. Reviews of their use have suggested however that there is no strong evidence supporting the anti-aggressive properties of anti-psychotics. This study in Australia was [read the full story…]

Factors important in predicting staff burnout in learning disability services identified


We have posted before about the factors which may impact on staff burnout in services supporting people with learning disabilities. Some of the studies we identified have suggested that personal and organisational supports increasing a sense of personal achievement  for staff can provide a buffer against emotional exhaustion and that interventions related to improving mindfulness might [read the full story…]

Study calls for training for police on identification of learning disability


The Prison Reform Trust work in 2008 suggested that people with learning disabilities in the UK faced ‘personal, systemic and routine’ discrimination from the point of arrest through to release from prison. This Australian study looked at the experience of people in the state of Victoria. The researchers were interested in the experiences and perceptions [read the full story…]

Self injurious behaviour prevalent in individuals with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder


Self injurious behaviour is usually defined as behaviour that directly results in physical harm to an individual and includes such behaviours as hand biting, head slapping, picking at skin, gouging or striking the body or eating inedible material.  In addition, researchers have begun to include display of repetitive movements even though they may not immediately [read the full story…]

Perception of stigma and social comparison influences self-concept of people with learning disabilities


Goffman’s seminal work identified social stigma as severe disapproval of a person on the grounds of characteristics they have that tend to distinguish them from other members of the society in which they live. The researchers in this study were interested in the perception of stigma in 43 adults with learning disabilities and the nature [read the full story…]

Study finds children with Down syndrome at risk for developing symptoms of sleep disordered breathing


The authors of this study set out to investigate sleep patterns in children with Down syndrome by asking parents to complete a questionnaire on sleep habits. Typical sleep problems included sleep maintenance problems, snoring, and disordered breathing. The authors administered a 33 item questionnaire on children’s sleep habits to the parents of 35 children with [read the full story…]