Examining the use of accessible information in the healthcare of adults with learning disabilities: a mixed method approach

Melody Terras, Dominic Jarrett, Sharon McGregor

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


    The provision of appropriate information is a key component of quality health care. This research project explored the role of accessible information (AI) in supporting the health and wellbeing of people with a learning disability. The project used mixed methods and random sampling. 102 NHS clinicians completed an online questionnaire examining the nature, range, and their involvement in production of AI, and was quantitatively analysed. 35 clinicians participated in focus group discussions; and 10 people with learning disabilities, and 10 carers were interviewed. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews tapped information seeking behaviour and the use of AI to support inclusion and healthcare decision making and were thematically analysed, informed by a Framework approach. The results from the questionnaire demonstrated variable use and understanding of AI, as well as correlations between knowledge of AI and views regarding its relevance. Qualitative data from the focus groups and interviews highlighted the crucial role of effective verbal engagement when using AI and the deficits in current NHS information provision. Our results highlight the potential of AI to support empowering partnerships with service users and thereby help address persistent health inequalities. The project illustrated the benefits of combining multiple perspectives, in terms of design, methodology, and analysis; and the need to make the research process as accessible as possible to promote the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSAGE Research Methods Cases in Health
    PublisherSAGE Publications
    Number of pages32
    ISBN (Print)9781473992665
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • learning disabilities
    • accessible information
    • healthcare
    • mixed methods
    • NHS staff


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