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OP42 Confronting versus comfortable: two approaches to the recruitment of people with learning disability in an advance care planning study
  1. N McKenzie,
  2. B Mirfin-Veitch,
  3. J Conder and
  4. H Trip
  1. University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand


Background Supporting people with learning disability to complete Advance Care Plans is relatively new and there is a lot to learn. This presentation discusses the recruitment processes and outcomes of two New Zealand based studies on this topic. The learnings from this may help us to increase the uptake of Advance Care Planning with people who have learning disabilities.

Methods Both studies are qualitative action research projects, both attempted to recruit 10 people with learning disability. A key difference is that the initial study recruited participants who were dying (and aware of that), while the current study recruited participants who were well. Recruitment data from both projects was analysed thematically to identify commonalities and differences in processes and outcomes.

Results Recruitment for the initial study was difficult, resulting in four participants. In contrast, recruitment for the current study was over-subscribed. Removing the need for participants to have a life-limiting condition contributed to this. In part this was because disability service staff, who sought expressions of interest for the study, were more comfortable to talking about Advance Care Planning within a pro-active context.

Conclusion Pro-active approaches to Advance Care Planning appear to be less confronting and more comfortable for disability staff. Taking a pro-active approach could increase uptake of Advance Care Planning for people with learning disability, who are clear that it is their right to plan for the end of their lives.

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