Addressing health inequities: coronary heart disease training within learning disabilities services

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Abstract

Summary

People with learning disabilities are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Research suggests this may be due to inequalities in health status and inequities in the way health services respond to need. Little is known about the most effective way to improve health outcomes for people with learning disabilities. A previously developed CHD educational resource was piloted within residential community support organisations working closely with adults with complex learning disabilities. Following the training, improvements in knowledge of CHD-related topics were noted. Improvements were also seen in skills and confidence relating to working with others. Participant satisfaction with the training was demonstrated in terms of the acceptability and effectiveness of the training. Systematic training of this nature could lead to increased awareness of and attention to the cardiac health requirements of individuals, thereby improving the health outcomes, health literacy and ultimately self-management of people with learning disabilities.

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