Diabetes appointments for adults with learning disabilities

Doctor Man Talking To

Who is doing this research?


My name is Lorna Rouse. I am a student at the Open University and I am doing this research as part of my PhD. 

What is the aim of this research?

My research aims to improve understanding of the experience of diabetes care appointments for adults with mild-to-moderate learning disabilities, their supporters and healthcare professionals.  This study will focus particularly on how ‘quality’ care is described in relation to primary care diabetes appointments for adults with learning disabilities.

Why this project?

  • People with learning disabilities are more likely to be diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes than people without learning disabilities.
  • Audits & surveys have so far provided a mixed picture of the quality of diabetes care for people with learning disabilities. These studies use varying definitions of ‘quality care’.
  • No studies have explored what is considered a quality diabetes care appointment for people with learning disabilities by the key stakeholders in these appointments (e.g. diabetes patients with learning disabilities, those who support their diabetes management and healthcare professionals who provide diabetes care for adults with learning disabilities).

Who can take part?

Adults with a learning disability*  who:

  • have a diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  •  are aged 18 years or older.
  • attended their last diabetes appointment in primary care around
    six months ago or less
  • live in the South East, South or Midlands of England

People with Learning Disabilities Recruitment Advert

People who support adults with learning disabilities in relation to their diabetes care appointments who:

  • Are aged 18+
  • Have been identified by a participant with a learning disability as having provided some form of support in relation to their diabetes appointments (in a paid/professional or informal capacity e.g. as support worker, family carer, family member, friend) within the last 6 months.

Supporters Recruitment Advert

Healthcare professionals with experience of diabetes care provision to adults with learning disabilities who:

  • Have been involved in the provision of diabetes care services for a patient with mild-to-moderate learning disabilities within the last 6 months.
  • Have provided this support located within Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CCG geography.

Healthcare Professionals Recruitment Advert

*For this study ‘learning disability’ is defined in line with the Department of Health definition of learning/intellectual disability (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/helpinformation/what-are-learning-disabilities) and does not include people with developmental disorders or specific learning difficulties who do not also have separate diagnosis of a learning disability.

What does taking part involve?

To take part you will need to be available for one interview between January 2018  – April 2018. The interview will take approximately 30 minutes to one hour and will take place at a time and location convenient to you.

How can I find out more about this project?

  • Click on the links to the participant information sheets below.
  • Use the contact details below to get in touch with me for further information.


info symbol   Information Sheets

People with Learning disabilities Information Sheet (audio version available on request)

Supporter Information Sheet

Healthcare Professionals Information Sheet

contactContact Details

Email: lorna.rouse@open.ac.uk

Phone: 07756099058

Postal address: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies,118 Horlock Building, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.

My project supervisor is Dr Liz Tilley elizabeth.tilley@open.ac.uk

Contact Form


This project has received ethical approval from the Health Reseach Authority (IRAS ID: 216015) and the Open University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/2017/2522/Rouse/1).



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