Bowel Health and Screening: evaluating a peer-led educational intervention for people with learning disabilities

Jonathan Gray, Jane Chandler, Ellie Wolf

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Abstract

Bowel or colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second most common cause of death from cancer in Scotland. People with learning disabilities have higher rates of mortality associated with cancer of the colon and the rectum than the general population. Data for 2016 suggest that in the NHS Highland health board area less than half of all people known to specialist learning disability services, who were eligible for bowel screening, participated in the Scottish national bowel screening programme.

To address the low uptake of bowel screening among people with learning disabilities, a peer-led educational intervention was developed and delivered to 109 adults with learning disabilities in the health board area. Its aims were to increase participants’ knowledge of bowel health and bowel screening and reduce the barriers to their participation in the bowel screening programme.

This article describes the intervention and discusses the findings from its evaluation. The intervention appears to have increased participants’ knowledge of bowel health and bowel screening as well as their willingness to undergo screening.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2131
Number of pages8
JournalLearning Disability Practice
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2021

Keywords

  • accessible information
  • Bowel cancer
  • cancer
  • cancer screening
  • Clinical
  • colorectal cancer
  • health promotion
  • learning disability
  • public health

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