The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of education and training in addressing health inequalities in intellectual disabilities, before examining innovative approaches to healthcare education. Preliminary findings of a simulation training course to support healthcare professionals to work with people with intellectual disability are then presented.
This study employed a mixed methods design to assess the impact of the simulation course. Quantitative data were collected using the Healthcare Skills Questionnaire and a self-report confidence measure; qualitative data were collected using post-course survey with free text responses to open questions.
Healthcare skills and confidence showed statistical improvements from pre- to post-course. Qualitative analyses demonstrated that participants perceived improvements to: attitudes, communication skills, reasonable adjustments, interprofessional and multi-disciplinary working, knowledge of key issues in working with people with intellectual disabilities.
Encouraging findings imply that simulation training to address health inequalities in intellectual disabilities is a valuable resource that merits further development. This training should be rolled out more widely, along with ongoing longitudinal evaluation via robust methods to gauge the impact on participants, their workplaces, and people with intellectual disabilities.
The authors believe this paper to be the first to assess an interprofessional, high-fidelity simulation course, using actors as simulated patients to address the mental and physical health needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The rigorous use of co-production and co-delivery, alongside promising findings for this training method, represent a useful contribution to the literature.
The authors would like to thank: The Baked Bean Theatre Company for their invaluable support with co-production and co-delivery, their excellent acting expertise, and for ensuring that this training course is such an enjoyable experience; The Estia Centre team for their considerable expertise and experience in delivering high-quality training for staff working with people with intellectual disabilities; Health Education England for supporting the development and delivery of simulation training in South London and The Maudsley Simulation team for continued support.
Billon, G., Attoe, C., Marshall-Tate, K., Riches, S., Wheildon, J. and Cross, S. (2016), "Simulation training to support healthcare professionals to meet the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 284-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-08-2016-0018
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