By rheale. EBN Blog. Published online 11 March 2016.
This week’s EBN Twitter Chat, on Wednesday 16th March 2016 between 20:00 – 21:00 hrs (GMT), will focus on the role of nurses and midwives in meeting the health needs of people with learning (intellectual) disabilities. The Twitter Chat (#ebnjc) will be hosted by Ruth Northway (@NorthwayRuth) who is a Professor of Learning Disability Nursing.
There is growing international evidence that people with learning (intellectual) disabilities experience inequalities in relation to their health (for example Anderson et al, 2013; Emerson et al, 2011; Krahn and Fox, 2014). Whilst, overall, their life expectancy has increased over the past century (Coppus, 2013) they still, on average, have a reduced life expectancy compared with the general population (Coppus, 2013; Heslop et al, 2013).
Emerson et al (2011) present evidence suggesting that there are a number of factors that contribute to such inequalities namely:
· People with learning (intellectual) disabilities may be at increased risk of exposure to established determinants of poorer health such as poverty. They may also experience increased vulnerability when exposed.
· Some genetic and biological causes of learning (intellectual) disabilities may lead to increased risks of certain health problems.
· They may experience communication difficulties and have reduced health literacy.
· They may engage in behaviours that lead to increased personal health risks.
· They may experience poor access to healthcare and other support services. When such services are received they may not be of an acceptable quality.
Read the full blog post here