Prevention and social care for adults with learning disabilities

Eric Emerson Completed   2011


This scoping review aimed to explore the issue of prevention in relation to adult social care services for people with learning disabilities with regard to:

  • options for preventative actions
  • implications for adult social care practice
  • possibilities for modelling the consequences of preventative strategies.


The review concluded that a plausible case can be made for the viability and potential effectiveness of primary and secondary prevention of learning disabilities and of the need for social care support among people with learning disabilities. There is, at present, no direct empirical evidence of the social and economic benefits associated with investment in such activities. There are, however, possibilities for estimating some of these costs and benefits using information from a combination of undertaking new systematic reviews and re-analysis of evaluation data that are or could be made accessible.

The vast majority of the options for prevention involve altering the social and environmental context in which children in the UK grow up. Some of these interventions are relevant to all children (e.g., reducing exposure to child poverty and economic inequality). Some are more specific to children with learning disabilities and the families who support them (e.g., early intervention for children with developmental delay, short breaks). Much fewer options are specific to services for adults with learning disabilities.

Prevention and social care for adults with learning disabilities
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