Career advice

Mind your attitude

The Francis and Winterbourne View inquiries revealed significant concerns about nurses’ attitudes and behaviours towards vulnerable people.

Healthcare professionals are duty-bound to examine their attitudes towards people who have a learning disability

Picture credit: Neil O’Connor

While one would expect nurses to have positive attitudes towards patients, this is not always the case – particularly when patients have a learning disability.

Attitude is a complex construct that has fascinated researchers, particularly nurses, for years.

Attitudes are characterised by three dimensions:

Cognitive: what we think the object of our attitude is like

Affective: how we feel about the attitude entity

Behavioural: how we act or respond towards the attitude entity

The consequences of negative attitudes towards people with a learning disability are immeasurable. They undoubtedly contribute to deficits in care, as people with learning disabilities experience higher levels of ill health and their need to


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