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J Nurs Manag. 2010 Mar;18(2):166-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01039.x.

Overcoming ignorance and stigma relating to intellectual disability in healthcare: a potential solution.

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1
Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA. alison.while@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

AIM:

To propose a strategy for overcoming stigma and discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities within healthcare.

BACKGROUND:

Evidence of poor healthcare for those with intellectual disabilities resulted in an independent inquiry. The subsequent report has charged healthcare organizations to address current organizational failings.

EVALUATION:

The origins of discriminatory practices in health services and the evidence of persisting poor care and stigmatization of this patient group despite UK Government policy are set out.

KEY ISSUE:

The stigmatization and resulting discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities persists.

CONCLUSION:

In addition to investment in core training, organizational change is needed to bring about change and a reduction in health inequality.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT:

The development of a new framework for nursing is recommended with leadership at all levels of healthcare so that people with intellectual disabilities and their families can expect to receive high quality care in all healthcare settings.

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