Reactions of nurses and therapists in mainstream health services to contact with people who have learning disabilities.

Roy McConkey, Maria Truesdale-Kennedy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    54 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Government policy in the United Kingdom is to make the National Health Service accessible to all citizens including those who hitherto may have relied on specialist services. It is recognised that the attitudes of health professionals can be a major influence in making this happen. To date there has been a paucity of research studies involving nurses and therapists; two of the largest groupings of health care workers. The present study contrasted the reactions of nurses and therapists to their contact with people who have learning disabilities, with those of staff working in specialist services for this client group, and with students who are not involved in health services. Over 1,000 respondents - mainly University students on undergraduate or post-graduate courses - completed a written questionnaire. Although nurses and therapists had significantly less contact with people who had learning disabilities during their work than did staff in specialist services, there were no differences in terms of contact in personal life. In both instances their contacts were higher than that reported for non-healthcare students. However both nurses and therapists were significantly less confident in working with a patient who had learning disabilities as opposed to one with physical disabilities. By contrast, willingness for social contacts did not vary across the four groups although respondents with previous personal contact were significantly more willing for this than those with no prior contact. The results confirm that the form of contact is a more salient variable on staff attitudes than contact per se. Hence, changed reactions are more likely to come about from successful contacts in a work rather than social environment. The implications are discussed for initial and post-qualifying training courses, especially for suitable placement experiences. Suggestions are made for future research that focuses on increasing the expertise and confidence of nurses and therapists in working with patients who have learning disabilities.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages158-163
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2000

    Fingerprint

    Learning Disorders
    Health Services
    Nurses
    Students
    Attitude of Health Personnel
    Attitude to Health
    Social Environment
    National Health Programs
    Delivery of Health Care
    Research
    Surveys and Questionnaires

    Cite this

    @article{574fbb9ddd0441d4a64e5ce8bc2f9ddd,
    title = "Reactions of nurses and therapists in mainstream health services to contact with people who have learning disabilities.",
    abstract = "Government policy in the United Kingdom is to make the National Health Service accessible to all citizens including those who hitherto may have relied on specialist services. It is recognised that the attitudes of health professionals can be a major influence in making this happen. To date there has been a paucity of research studies involving nurses and therapists; two of the largest groupings of health care workers. The present study contrasted the reactions of nurses and therapists to their contact with people who have learning disabilities, with those of staff working in specialist services for this client group, and with students who are not involved in health services. Over 1,000 respondents - mainly University students on undergraduate or post-graduate courses - completed a written questionnaire. Although nurses and therapists had significantly less contact with people who had learning disabilities during their work than did staff in specialist services, there were no differences in terms of contact in personal life. In both instances their contacts were higher than that reported for non-healthcare students. However both nurses and therapists were significantly less confident in working with a patient who had learning disabilities as opposed to one with physical disabilities. By contrast, willingness for social contacts did not vary across the four groups although respondents with previous personal contact were significantly more willing for this than those with no prior contact. The results confirm that the form of contact is a more salient variable on staff attitudes than contact per se. Hence, changed reactions are more likely to come about from successful contacts in a work rather than social environment. The implications are discussed for initial and post-qualifying training courses, especially for suitable placement experiences. Suggestions are made for future research that focuses on increasing the expertise and confidence of nurses and therapists in working with patients who have learning disabilities.",
    author = "Roy McConkey and Maria Truesdale-Kennedy",
    year = "2000",
    month = "7",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.01413.x",
    language = "English",
    volume = "32",
    pages = "158--163",
    journal = "Journal of Advanced Nursing",
    issn = "0309-2402",
    number = "1",

    }

    Reactions of nurses and therapists in mainstream health services to contact with people who have learning disabilities. / McConkey, Roy; Truesdale-Kennedy, Maria.

    In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 32, No. 1, 01.07.2000, p. 158-163.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Reactions of nurses and therapists in mainstream health services to contact with people who have learning disabilities.

    AU - McConkey, Roy

    AU - Truesdale-Kennedy, Maria

    PY - 2000/7/1

    Y1 - 2000/7/1

    N2 - Government policy in the United Kingdom is to make the National Health Service accessible to all citizens including those who hitherto may have relied on specialist services. It is recognised that the attitudes of health professionals can be a major influence in making this happen. To date there has been a paucity of research studies involving nurses and therapists; two of the largest groupings of health care workers. The present study contrasted the reactions of nurses and therapists to their contact with people who have learning disabilities, with those of staff working in specialist services for this client group, and with students who are not involved in health services. Over 1,000 respondents - mainly University students on undergraduate or post-graduate courses - completed a written questionnaire. Although nurses and therapists had significantly less contact with people who had learning disabilities during their work than did staff in specialist services, there were no differences in terms of contact in personal life. In both instances their contacts were higher than that reported for non-healthcare students. However both nurses and therapists were significantly less confident in working with a patient who had learning disabilities as opposed to one with physical disabilities. By contrast, willingness for social contacts did not vary across the four groups although respondents with previous personal contact were significantly more willing for this than those with no prior contact. The results confirm that the form of contact is a more salient variable on staff attitudes than contact per se. Hence, changed reactions are more likely to come about from successful contacts in a work rather than social environment. The implications are discussed for initial and post-qualifying training courses, especially for suitable placement experiences. Suggestions are made for future research that focuses on increasing the expertise and confidence of nurses and therapists in working with patients who have learning disabilities.

    AB - Government policy in the United Kingdom is to make the National Health Service accessible to all citizens including those who hitherto may have relied on specialist services. It is recognised that the attitudes of health professionals can be a major influence in making this happen. To date there has been a paucity of research studies involving nurses and therapists; two of the largest groupings of health care workers. The present study contrasted the reactions of nurses and therapists to their contact with people who have learning disabilities, with those of staff working in specialist services for this client group, and with students who are not involved in health services. Over 1,000 respondents - mainly University students on undergraduate or post-graduate courses - completed a written questionnaire. Although nurses and therapists had significantly less contact with people who had learning disabilities during their work than did staff in specialist services, there were no differences in terms of contact in personal life. In both instances their contacts were higher than that reported for non-healthcare students. However both nurses and therapists were significantly less confident in working with a patient who had learning disabilities as opposed to one with physical disabilities. By contrast, willingness for social contacts did not vary across the four groups although respondents with previous personal contact were significantly more willing for this than those with no prior contact. The results confirm that the form of contact is a more salient variable on staff attitudes than contact per se. Hence, changed reactions are more likely to come about from successful contacts in a work rather than social environment. The implications are discussed for initial and post-qualifying training courses, especially for suitable placement experiences. Suggestions are made for future research that focuses on increasing the expertise and confidence of nurses and therapists in working with patients who have learning disabilities.

    U2 - 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.01413.x

    DO - 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2000.01413.x

    M3 - Article

    VL - 32

    SP - 158

    EP - 163

    JO - Journal of Advanced Nursing

    T2 - Journal of Advanced Nursing

    JF - Journal of Advanced Nursing

    SN - 0309-2402

    IS - 1

    ER -