Creating Research Cultures in Learning Disability Settings: Developing a Research-Service Framework

   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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  Prof Laurence Taggart  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

More people with a learning disability are living longer and have worse physical and mental health needs compared to those without a disability. People with a learning disability die on average 15–20yrs earlier with many deaths identified as avoidable and potentially amenable to healthcare interventions. People with a learning disability are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, sepsis, certain cancers, diabetes, and mental illness. The provision of care and support can be significant for the NHS.

There is a strong policy commitment to diminishing these early and avoidable deaths and promoting health and equity to health services. However, research clearly highlights that implementing evidenced-based interventions into learning disability settings can be challenging and take considerable time.

The primary aim of this PhD programme of study is to work with learning disability policymakers, managers, clinicians, and adults with learning disabilities and their carers/supporters, to co-develop a document (called a research service framework) that will support these settings to maximise research opportunities and improve the health of people with learning disabilities.

Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27)


Cooper S, Allan L, Greenlaw N, et al Rates, causes, place and predictors of mortality in adults with intellectual disabilities with and without Down syndrome: cohort study with record linkage BMJ Open 2020;10:e036465. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036465
Heslop, P., Blair, P. S., Fleming, P., Hoghton, M., Marriott, A., & Russ, L. (2014). The Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities in the UK: A population-based study. The Lancet, 383(9920), 889–895.
O'Leary, L, Cooper, S-A, Hughes-McCormack, L. Early death and causes of death of people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2018; 31: 325–342.
Skivington K, Matthews L, Simpson SA, Craig P, Baird J, Blazeby JM, Boyd KA, Craig N, French DP, McIntosh E, Petticrew M, Rycroft-Malone J, White M, Moore L. Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update. Health Technol Assess. 2021 Sep;25(57):1-132. doi: 10.3310/hta25570. PMID: 34590577; PMCID: PMC7614019

 About the Project