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Research priorities relating to communication and swallowing for people with learning disabilities across the lifespan

Chadd, K., Longhurst, L., Kulkarni, A. , Simpson, J., Pagnamenta, E., Brettell, F., Della, M., Dowty, R., Wallinger, J., Bangera, S., Palmer, R. & Joffe, V. ORCID: 0000-0001-9132-2889 (2022). Research priorities relating to communication and swallowing for people with learning disabilities across the lifespan. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 27(2), pp. 95-104. doi: 10.1108/tldr-06-2021-0018


This research priority setting partnership (PSP) aims to collaboratively identify the “top ten” research priorities relating to communication and swallowing for children and adults with learning disabilities, across the lifespan in the UK, using a modified James Lind Alliance approach.

A steering group and reference group were established to oversee the PSP. A survey of speech and language therapists (SLTs) resulted in 157 research suggestions. These were further developed into 95 research questions through a multi-stakeholder workshop. Questions were prioritised via an online card-sort activity completed by SLTs, health-care or education professionals and carers. Research questions were analysed thematically. Ten adults with learning disabilities were supported to assign ratings to themes reflecting their prioritisation. The top ten research priorities were identified by combining results from these activities.

The top ten research priorities related to intervention, outcome measurement and service delivery around communication and dysphagia.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first UK-wide research PSP on learning disabilities and speech and language therapy across the lifespan. It uses a novel approach to incorporate the preferences of people with learning disabilities in the prioritisation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Longhurst, Amit Kulkarni, Jaya Simpson, Emma Pagnamenta, Fiona Brettell, Della Money, Rosie Dowty, Josephine Wallinger, Sai Bangera, Rebecca Palmer and Victoria Joffe. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at
Publisher Keywords: s Research priorities, Communication, Learning disabilities, Intellectual disability, Dysphagia, Speech and language therapy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
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