Title

Intellectual disability content within pre-registration nursing curriculum: how is it taught?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Trollor, J, Eagleson, C, Turner, B, Salomon, C, Cashin, A, lacono, T, Goddard, L & Lennox, N 2018, 'Intellectual disability content within pre-registration nursing curriculum: how is it taught?', Nurse Education Today, vol. 69, pp. 48-52.

Published version available from

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2018.07.002

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Background

Despite experiencing higher rates of physical and mental health conditions compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability face inequitable access to healthcare services. Improving education of healthcare professionals is one way to reduce these inequalities.

Objective

To determine how intellectual disability content is taught within Australian nursing schools.

Design

A two-phase audit of Australian nursing curricula content was conducted using an interview and online survey.

Setting

Nursing schools Australia-wide providing pre-registration courses.

Participants

For Phase 1, course coordinators from 31 nursing schools completed an interview on course structure. Teaching staff from 15 schools in which intellectual disability content was identified completed an online survey for Phase 2.

Methods

Methods used to teach intellectual disability content and who taught the content were audited using an online survey.

Results

Across the 15 schools offering intellectual disability content, lectures were the most common teaching method (82% of units), followed by tutorials (59%), workshops (26%), then other methods (e.g. e-learning; 12%). Approximately three-quarters of intellectual disability teaching used some problem-and/or enquiry-based learning. Only one nursing school involved a person with intellectual disability in delivering teaching content. Six (19%) participating schools identified staff who specialise in intellectual disability, and seven (23%) identified staff with a declared interest in the area.

Conclusion

While some nursing schools are using diverse methods to teach intellectual disability content, many are not; as a result, nursing students may miss out on acquiring the attributes which enable them to address the significant health inequalities faced by this group. A specific deficit was identified relating to inclusive teaching and clinical contact with people with intellectual disability.

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