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Title: Changing lives? : a qualitative action research study of people with learning disabilities making choices in their lives
Author: Powell, Simon Thomas.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 1212
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2007
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The concept of choice is now being promoted strongly in health and social care, especially for people with learning disabilities, yet there has been relatively little systematic examination of how they makes choices and decisions, and how they should be supported to do so. The examples from the literature have either been conducted in artificial, experimental settings, ignoring the social context of the lives of these individuals, or value based, rather than empirical. This study aimed to investigate this gap by exploring how people with learning disabilities make choices in their everyday lives, and what happens when they make them. An action research group was convened for twenty sessions in which learning disabled participants explored what they wanted to change about where they lived, then were supported by the group to make these changes. A qualitative design was used and data were analysed using Grounded Theory. Participants described significant conflict in their homes and in their local neighbourhoods. They described using a number of strategies to solve problems in their lives - some more successful than others. All participants seemed able to solve straightforward problems on their own, but this often involved accommodating to situations of conflict or harassment. Some participants succeeded in solving more complex problems by mobilising people in their immediate social network, often using step-by-step plans. This could be seen as an indication that participants made the same problem-solving errors in real-life settings that have been found in more experimental situations. Alternatively, the findings can be seen as supporting a social model of learning disability by identifying areas of 'cultural competence' .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available