People with learning disabilities are an ageing and increasing population and have been the subject of policy initiatives by the four countries of the UK, detailing the range of supports that need to be in place for this group. The evidence base of their mental health needs is growing and with it the need to ensure the full range of psychotherapies available to the general population are made available to people with learning disabilities. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is now a widely accepted and effective form of psychotherapy for many mental health problems and the evidence base is growing on the effectiveness with the learning disability population; however, the model needs to be applied differently for this group to take account of their cognitive impairment and support needs. Registered Nurses in Learning Disabilities are well placed to apply this approach within their clinical practice; however, there is an absence of leadership and direction in the development of CBT for this group of clinicians. There is a need to support education and practice development to contribute to addressing the emotional needs of people with learning disabilities. Action is required to support education to prepare Registered Nurses in Learning Disabilities to practice CBT and to contribute to the ongoing development of research in this area of clinical practice.
Bibliographical noteM1 - 2
- cognitive behaviour therapy, education, learning disabilities, nurses, research