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Title: An investigation into care staff knowledge of the concept of a learning disability and whether a training package can alter any deficits in this knowledge
Author: Williams, Tamsin Michelle
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Method: Part one is a quantitative, questionnaire based study, examining participants’ knowledge of the concept of a learning disability and its associated deficits both pre and post training. Care staff were invited to attend a training day based on the ‘Understanding Learning Disabilities’ package. Part two is a qualitative study that used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to explore participants’ understanding of the training and its impact on their practice. Results: After training, participants’ knowledge of a learning disability and its associated deficits had significantly increased. This knowledge was retained when measured one month later. Qualitative analysis indicated that participants struggled to either remember or articulate its content twelve months later although they reported benefits including enjoyment and experiencing an increase in confidence after attending. Participants also discussed difficulties with regard to its practical utilisation including; knowing what to do when strategies failed, struggling when personal beliefs clashed with practical advice, appropriately balancing duty of care and feeling abandoned due to a lack of managerial support. Discussion: This study increased participant knowledge of the concept of learning disability and associated cognitive deficits by using a standardised training package. Several study limitations were observed both methodologically and ethically. The study did not adequately address the practical utilisation of the training at the one month follow-up therefore an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach (IPA) was used to examine this. IPA illustrated benefits not identified during part one of the study including enjoyment and increased confidence about working with this client group. Several practice and training related difficulties were highlighted. Participants also placed importance on several carer qualities that reflected those identified by the literature examining therapeutic alliance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available