Background In England, between 2010–2013, a Confidential Inquiry into premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities was commissioned by the Department of Health. This took place in SW England led by Norah Fry Research Centre at Bristol University.
Findings from the investigations into 247 deaths included that men with learning disabilities die, on average 13 years sooner and women, on average 20 years sooner, than the general population. Over 1/3 (37%) were found to be avoidable, being amenable to good quality healthcare. A number of key recommendations were made which required understanding by a range of audiences including people with learning disabilities and their carers.
Aim This workshop will demonstrate how academics can work with actors with learning disabilities to disseminate research findings about a sensitive subject in a thought provoking and accessible way.
Methods Academics worked with the MISFITs theatre company to make a DVD about the findings and recommendations of the Confidential Inquiry.
Results The DVD presents the findings of the Confidential Inquiry through the stories of John, Bill, Karen and Emily. It powerfully illustrates the importance of diagnosing and treating illness of people with learning disabilities in a timely and appropriate manner and highlights the measures that could be taken to reduce premature deaths in this population.
Conclusion The session provides an example of how the voices of people with learning disabilities can communicate research messages effectively to people with learning disabilities, health and social care practitioners and others who support the learning disability population.
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