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J Intellect Disabil Res. 1997 Oct;41 ( Pt 5):391-400.

Attitudes of general practitioners towards health care for people with intellectual disability and the factors underlying these attitudes.

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Learning Disability Service, Severn NHS Trust, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.


An intellectual disability attitude questionnaire was used to explore the attitudes of general practitioners (GPs) towards primary health care, organizing health promotion and the role of specialist services for people with intellectual disability. The results of this questionnaire from GPs in Gwent (Wales) and GPs in west Gloucestershire (England) were compared. The GPs in both areas responded similarly and tended to agree that they were responsible for the medical care of people with intellectual disability in the community. They also tended to feel that the move from hospitals to the community of people with intellectual disability would greatly increase their workload. The GPs in both areas were generally against a responsibility on their part for health promotion and health screening initiatives for people with intellectual disability. However, GPs in west Gloucestershire felt more strongly against these issues. Further analysis of the data revealed factors which influenced the response of GPs to the questionnaire, including their position regarding health promotion and screening, and their view of the role of specialist health services. The GPs generally felt that community learning disability teams provided useful support, and there is clearly scope for team members to liaise more closely with GP practices and to provide helpful information to GPs about intellectual disability and the specialist health services available. Professionals seeking to work collaboratively with GPs should be sensitive to their workload pressures and to their attitudes towards health promotion initiatives and health screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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