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Communication skills training for healthcare students working with people with intellectual disabilities

  • Elizabeth Metcalf (a1) and Robert Colgate (a2)

Effective communication skills are essential for all healthcare professionals. Specialist teaching on communicating with people with intellectual disabilities is often lacking, resulting in poorer healthcare and worse outcomes than in the general population. Working with professionally trained actors with intellectual disabilities, we developed an interprofessional workshop that sought to provide authentic communication skills training to enable healthcare students from various disciplines to communicate effectively with patients of all abilities. In a survey, students reported that they found the workshops rewarding and confidence-building, and that they learnt more about the roles of their interprofessional colleagues.



Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr Elizabeth Metcalf, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Centre for Medical Education, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cochrane Building, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4YS, UK. Email:
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Communication skills training for healthcare students working with people with intellectual disabilities

  • Elizabeth Metcalf (a1) and Robert Colgate (a2)
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