Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Factors associated with the identification of mental health conditions among people with learning disabilities in primary care: A scoping review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah WighamORCiD, Jennie Lester, Jane Bourne, Dr Iain McKinnonORCiD, Dr Simon Hackett



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background. Rates of mental health conditions are high among adults with learning disabilities relative to the general population, however research suggests mental health conditions may be missed or under-identified in this population group. This review considers factors associated with the identification of mental health conditions among adults with learning disabilities in primary care. Methods. A scoping review was conducted and reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidance extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). We searched electronic databases (Cinahl, PsychINfo and Medline) for articles published between the years 2000 to 2022. Data were extracted, tabulated and themes were identified. Findings. The searches identified 3262 articles and 34 met inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Six broad themes were identified including (i) mental health screening in primary care (ii) education, training and awareness raising for primary care staff (iii) increasing access to psychological therapies (IAPT) through improved mental health case recognition in primary care and IAPT practitioner confidence (iv) health checks and continuity of care (v) specialist support for primary care providers and (vi) awareness raising among adults with learning disabilities. Conclusions There should be efforts to increase availability in primary care of mental health screening measures suitable for people with learning disabilities. Training opportunities for providers across different sectors of health and social care pathways, on the mental health needs of people with a learning disability are also required. The findings can be used to guide the development of services, for adults with learning disabilities and symptoms of mental health conditions in primary care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wigham S, Melvin E, Lester J, Bourne J, Harris M, McKinnon I, Hackett S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Learning Disabilities

Year: 2024

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Pages: 36-53

Print publication date: 01/03/2024

Online publication date: 10/07/2023

Acceptance date: 14/06/2023

Date deposited: 14/06/2023

ISSN (print): 1354-4187

ISSN (electronic): 1468-3156

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/bld.12544

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/ma8j-rq31


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust