Supporting patients who have intellectual disabilities: a survey investigating staff training needs

I. Tuffrey-Wijne, S. Hollins, L.M.G. Curfs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AIMS: This article reports on a small exploratory survey aimed at establishing the perceived training needs of palliative care staff related to supporting people with intellectual disabilities. METHODS: Questionnaires were collected from a sample of 46 palliative care staff. Respondents were asked to describe 'worrying issues' about supporting a person with intellectual disabilities. Answers were analysed using content analysis. RESULTS: Most respondents (37, 80%) highlighted communication as a concern. Other major issues included assessment and symptom control, patient comprehension, empowerment and ethical issues/consent. DISCUSSION: Communication and symptom assessment can be challenging, particularly in people with limited verbal communication skills. Palliative care staff need to be aware of the range of communication methods used by people with intellectual disabilities. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of information and training materials around intellectual disabilities for palliative care staff. This needs to be addressed. More work is needed to develop appropriate training in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

Cite this