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Access to palliative care services by people with learning disabilities: is there equity?

Irene Tuffrey‐Wijne (Division of Mental Health, University of London)
Leopold Curfs (University Maastricht/Academic Hospital Maastricht)
Sheila Hollins (St George's, University of London)

Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

ISSN: 1753-0180

Article publication date: 1 June 2008

Abstract

This paper explores access to palliative care services by people with learning disabilities. It is based on a study of specialist palliative care professionals in London, involving 32 semi‐structured interviews and 543 postal questionnaires. We focus on one aspect of the findings, related to the current use of specialist palliative care services by people with learning disabilities. The results indicate that such services are under‐used by this group. We discuss possible reasons for low referral rates, including late diagnosis and lack of understanding among both learning disability services and palliative care services about each other's roles. We highlight the importance of collaboration, and the need for further staff training.

Keywords

Citation

Tuffrey‐Wijne, I., Curfs, L. and Hollins, S. (2008), "Access to palliative care services by people with learning disabilities: is there equity?", Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 42-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/17530180200800017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited