Developing Talents in Patients with Learning Disabilities


Although the issues that people with learning disabilities (PLD) face on a regular basis when learning new information or acquiring new skills rarely become the subject of discussions in the everyday environment, the subject matter remains a problem in the modern nursing realm (Castell & Kroesse, 2016). In this case, my role is restricted to developing a framework for addressing the patients’ needs. In order to exhaust every possibility for a PLD patient to develop the necessary skills and abilities, one will have to incorporate the principle of talent-oriented learning approach and the idea of crossing networks into the therapy.

Background and Significance of the Problem

The idea that PLD cannot possibly have any talents or specific abilities has been dominating the nursing environment for an impressive amount of time, shaping the approaches to tending to the needs of PLD to a considerable extent (Jahagirdar, Kroll, Ritchie, & Wyke, 2012). Nevertheless, studies show that PLD are also capable of having and, more importantly, developing talents and skills (Sheehan et al., 2016). Thus, the current nursing framework must be altered to take the assumptions above into account.

Statement of the Problem and Purpose of the Study

Addressing the needs of PLD is one of the primary concerns of the contemporary nursing environment (Keller, Fisher, Marks, & Hsieh, 2014). The purpose of the study concerns locating the nursing approach that will help understand the needs of PLD better, as well as prevent nurses from restricting the options that the patients have in developing their skills.

Literature Review

Studies show that patients with LD are often viewed as incapable of acquiring basic literacy skills, not to mention developing any talents (Heller, Gibbons, & Fisher, 2015). However, a closer look at the target audience will show that PLD may, in fact, not only be able to acquire communication skills but also have specific talents that can be worked on (Wai-Tong & Lee, 2013). Therefore, the current nursing approach may need to be shaped so that nurses should include talent development in the list of needs of PLD. Moreover, the provision of the tools that will help spark a fast and efficient learning process will be included in the research.

Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables

Research Questions

  1. Will the focus on the talent development in PLD help advocate a better nursing approach that will help enhance the efficacy of the therapy process?
  2. Can the concept of crossing networks become the foundation for building communication skills, as well as other social abilities and habits, among PLD?
  3. How can the current nursing strategy toward meeting the needs of PLD be improved so that the target audience could gain the necessary skills and competencies? s


  • Research hypothesis. A talent-focused approach based on promoting the identification of any abilities among PLD, as well as the engagement of the target audience in the process of participating in crossing networks, has a direct and positive effect on the enhancement of literacy and basic skills acquisition among the identified audience.
  • Null hypothesis. There is no correlation between the adoption of the talent-oriented strategies, the use of crossing networks, and the acquisition of relevant skills by PLD.

Identifying and Defining Variables

  • Dependent variables. The speed and success of learning and communication-related skills by PLD patients can be viewed as the crucial dependent variable of the study.
  • Independent variables. Crossing networks, talent-oriented nursing frameworks, and a patient-oriented strategy are included in the list of the essential independent variables.

Theoretical Framework

Overview and Guiding Propositions

The paper will represent a mixed research. Qualitative data will be retrieved from interviews with patients. Quantitative information will be acquired by distributing surveys among nurses.

Application of Theory to Study Focus

Vygotsky, Lave, and Engestrom’s theories will be used as the foundation for the discussion and analysis of the data to be retrieved (Beaver, 2014).



The sample will be taken from the population of a local community.

Sampling Strategy

Convenience sampling will be used as the primary tool.

Research Design

A mixed study will involve an observation and a case study.

Extraneous Variables

The specifics of the patients’ background can be interpreted as the key extraneous variable.


Interviews and surveys will be included into the list of essential instruments.

Description of the Intervention

The intervention will involve the introduction of the patients to a crossing network. In addition, the target audience will be encouraged to engage in a large variety of communication- and cognitive-development-related activities.

Data Collection Procedures

Data will be collected with the help of tests measuring the participants’ engagement levels, the speed of skills acquisition, etc.

Data Analysis Plans

The data will be analyzed with the help of a t-test (quantitative information) and a grounded theory (qualitative information).

Ethical Issues

Some or even most of the patients may be unqualified for signing the informed consent form. Therefore, it will be necessary to seek the consent of their legal guardians. Otherwise, the research cannot be carried out.

Limitations of Proposed Study

The convenience sampling strategy may lead to retrieving case-specific results that may be inapplicable to other settings.

Implications for Practice

The results of the study will inform the further analysis of the patterns, in which PLD acquire information and develop skills.


Beaver, M. A. (2014). Project GRANDD revisited: A community-based service learning experience for nurse practitioner students. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 7(3), 331-335.

Castell, E., Kroesse, B. S. (2016). Midwives׳ experiences of caring for women with learning disabilities – A qualitative study. Midwifery, 36(1), 35-42. Web.

Heller, T., Gibbons, H. M., & Fisher, D. (2015). Caregiving and family support interventions: Crossing networks of aging and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 53(5), 329-345. Web.

Jahagirdar, D., Kroll, T., Ritchie, K., & Wyke, S. (2012). Using patient reported outcome measures in health services: A qualitative study on including people with low literacy skills and learning disabilities. BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), 431-438. Web.

Keller, T., Fisher, D., Marks, B., & Hsieh, K. (2014). Interventions to promote health: Crossing networks of intellectual and developmental disabilities and aging. Disability and Health Journal, 7(1), 24-32.

Sheehan, R., Gandesha, A., Hassiotis, A., Gallagher, P., Burnell, M., Jones, G.,… & Crawford, N. J. (2016). An audit of the quality of inpatient care for adults with learning disability in the UK. BMJ Open, 6(4), 1-7.

Wai-Tong, C., & Lee, I. Y M. (2013). An exploratory study of parents perceived educational needs for parenting a child with learning disabilities. Asian Nursing Research, 7(1), 16-25. Web.

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