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An evaluation of an alcohol awareness group for learning disabled offenders in a secure setting

John Burns (Psycho Education Therapy Lead, Psychological Treatment Service, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Whalley, UK)
Charlotte Aspinall (Psycho Education Support Worker, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Whalley, UK)
Chris Matthews (Psycho Education Support Worker, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Whalley, UK)

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2042-0927

Article publication date: 10 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Individuals with learning disabilities (LD) who offend are more likely to be dependent on alcohol than those who do not. There is strong evidence to suggest that interventions for alcohol problems can be effective; this paper aims to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The pre and post assessment scores from an alcohol awareness group (AAG) were collected from 34 service users with LD or a dual diagnosis of LD and mental health problems. The programme was manual led and included 12 sessions. The data collected were used to evaluate the programme.

Findings

Clients' level of knowledge and self efficacy increased after programme completion. Post group, those with a lower IQ had gained a greater level of alcohol‐related knowledge compared to those with a higher IQ. Clients with a learning disability alone scored slightly higher than those with a dual diagnosis.

Originality/value

The AAG has been successful in increasing motivation to change drinking behaviour, knowledge of problems related to alcohol, and “safe drinking” practice. These outcomes have been achieved across a wide range of cognitive abilities suggesting that those with an IQ below 60 can also benefit from this type of intervention.

Keywords

Citation

Burns, J., Aspinall, C. and Matthews, C. (2011), "An evaluation of an alcohol awareness group for learning disabled offenders in a secure setting", Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 159-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/20420921111207846

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited