Transition from child to adult health services for people with learning disabilities: Learning from nurses and families: Transition from child to adult health services

Michael Brown, Juliet Macarthur, Anna Higgins, Maria Truesdale, Zoe Chouliara

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

A mixed methods design involving families of young adults with complex learning disabilities and Registered Nurses.

The objectives of the study were to:
• Investigate and more fully understand the experience of transition between child and adult health services, the challenges involved and the barriers to the provision of person-centred care by obtaining the perspectives of nurses and families as the key stakeholders
• Develop best practice strategies in providing person-centred care during transition, embedded in the perspectives of stakeholders
• Develop and pilot an on-line learning resource for nurses and other health professionals in practice regarding how effectively manage the transition from child and adult health services for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Families of young adults with complex learning disabilities (n=10) who had gone through the transition from child to adults health services in the past year participated in qualitative interviews. Registered Nurses from all Scottish NHS Boards with direct experience of supporting young people with complex learning disabilities were recruited to the study (n=46) and participated in qualitative interviews. An on-line learning resource was developed and piloted in 3 Scottish NHS Boards and follow-up qualitative interviews undertaken with some participants.

The findings from the study evidenced that families find the transition process as stressful and at times confusing, with a need for additional support throughout to ensure that care is effectively co-ordinated and care needs planned for. Nurses often play a central role in the care and support of young adults with learning disabilities and are well placed to enable and facilitate the process. Yet some nurses lack confidence and knowledge regarding the specific transition and support needs of young adults with learning disabilities and their families with a need for access to further education. An on-line learning resources was developed and piloted for nurses and other health professionals to enhance their knowledge regarding the care and support needs of young adults with learning disabilities before, during and after the transition from child to adult health services. Seven evidence-based recommendations are made based on the study findings.

Conclusion: The population of young adults with learning disabilities is increasing with more living into adulthood with complex health conditions. Many require additional support before, during and after the transition process to ensure is it effective and person and family-centred. Nurses are inn a key position to contribute throughout the transition process.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyThe Burdett Trust for Nursing
Number of pages71
ISBN (Electronic)978191364003
Publication statusPublished - 05 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Transition
  • Health needs
  • Complex needs

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