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The experiences of adults with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: qualitative results from Wave 1 of the Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study

Flynn, S., Caton, S., Gilloooly, A., Bradshaw, J., Hastings, R., Hatton, C., Jahoda, A., Mulhall, P., Todd, S., Beyer, S., and others. (2021) The experiences of adults with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: qualitative results from Wave 1 of the Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study. The Tizard Learning Disability Review, . (KAR id:90166)

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Official URL
http://dx.10.1108/TLDR-09-2021-0027

Abstract

Purpose (required):

This paper presents data about the experiences of adults with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic across the UK.

Design/methodology/approach (required):

Interviews were conducted with 609 adults with learning disabilities. Family carers and support staff of another 351 adults with learning disabilities completed a proxy online survey. The data were collected between December 2020 and February 2021 and concerned both worries/negatives and anything positive that had happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings (required):

Social isolation was the most commonly reported worry/negative for adults with learning disabilities, with other frequently reported worries/negatives including: changes to/loss of routine; loss of support/services; and decreased health/wellbeing/fitness. A large proportion of participants indicated that nothing positive had happened because of COVID-19, but some positives were reported, including: digital inclusion; more time spent with important people; improved health/wellbeing/fitness; and, a slower pace of life.

Research Limitations/Implications (if applicable):

Practical Implications (if applicable):

Future pandemic planning must ensure that adults with learning disabilities are supported to maintain social contact with the people who matter to them, and to support their health and wellbeing (including maintaining access to essential services and activities). Some adults with learning disabilities may benefit from additional support to improve their digital confidence and access. This may in turn enable them to maintain contact with family, friends, and support services/activities.

Social Implications (if applicable):

Originality/Value (required):

This is the largest study about the experiences of adults with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. We primarily collected data directly from adults with learning disabilities, and worked with partner organisations of people with learning disabilities throughout the study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: learning disabilities, COVID-19, social isolation, digital inclusion, health, well-being
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Jill Bradshaw
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 16:51 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 10:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/90166 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bradshaw, J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0379-8877
Hastings, R.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0495-8270
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