Changes in the attitudes of GPs to health screening of patients with learning disabilities

David Marshall, R. McConkey, G. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GP's appear reluctant to undertake health screening for people with learning disabilities. This article describes a specialist health screening service delivered mainly by community learning disability nurses to nearly 600 children and adults. Prior to the service being established, 141 GPs within a defined area were surveyed and 51% responded. Although a majority thought the service would be helpful, three-quarters felt it was better provided within the context of specialist services. After screening, 54% of the sample (318 persons) were referred to their GP for further assessment and treatment, nearly all for physoical health needs. A second study investigated the attitudes of 91 GPs who had patients refrrered. Those (45) who reported dealing with a referral were more favourably disposed to undertaking health screening within their practice, whereas those (23) who had been uninvolved continued to opt for specialist provision. Options for encouraging more GPs' to offer preventive health care to theisclient group are discussed, including medical training, extra consulting time and linking community learning disbaility nurses with GP practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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