Background Patients with Learning Disabilities (LD) often present with comorbidities, have an increased risk of mental health disorders (Smiley, 2005). It is largely evidenced they receive substandard care (CIPLOD 2013, Dinsmore and Higgins, 2011). This patient group requires interprofessional, multi-disciplinary care, and professionals with specific relevant training (Dinsmore and Higgins, 2011).
Simulated patients with LD are very rarely used in healthcare education, with only a few notable exceptions (O’Boyle-Duggan et al, 2012, Thaker et al, 2007, Soni et al, 2016), despite recognition of the specific advantages to involve patients with LD in medical and other professional training (Thomas et al, 2014).
Method Maudsley Simulation and the Estia Centre have developed an interprofessional simulation training course involving simulated patients with LD, with a strong mental health focus. Actors involved in scenarios belong to a theatre company formed by people with LD. This incidentally provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful and valued social interactions alongside people with LD.
Pre and post-course quantitative measures and a post-course evaluation form with open questions were collected to assess the impact of the training on the participants.
Findings At the time of writing preliminary findings are available for the first two course pilots. Further data collection and analyses to be completed and presented at ASPiH 2016.
A multi professional group attended the simulation training.
Our questionnaire was designed to assess health care non-technical skills. The data analysis of the first pilots showed an increase of the mean rating from 7.06 (SD 1.32) to 7.83 (SD 1.32). The average rating of confidence in working with people with LD increased in from 5.375 to 7.25.
The qualitative data highlighted that both technical and non-technical learning objectives were largely met for the participants.
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