An open learning course, ‘Approaches to Sexual Abuse of Adults with Learning Disabilities’, was undertaken with a range of staff working with adults with learning disabilities. Using a specially designed questionnaire based on the research and practice literature on sexual abuse, the present authors evaluated the impact of the course on staff knowledge of: (1) sexual abuse, and its antecedents and consequences; (2) the procedures to be followed once abuse is suspected; and (3) the practices most likely to minimize abuse. In addition, the effect of the course on attitudes was also assessed. Staff knowledge of sexual abuse was significantly increased following completion of the course. Staff attitudes at the outset of the course tended to be highly consistent with the values and practices reflected in the course material. However, changes in acceptance of formal practices to deal with abuse, confidence in having the skills to deal with incidents and awareness of the vulnerability of people with learning disabilities to abuse were all enhanced. The implication of sample attrition during the course is considered with respect to the nature of the environment in which staff work and the feasibility of the open learning model.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2001|