People with a learning disability have the same health issues as anyone else in society. Many will experience additional, often complex, health needs due to the severity and type of their learning disability.
Consequently, many people with a learning disability are likely to require the professional services and care of highly skilled nurses in a variety of clinical settings. However, those with a learning disability tend to have a long history of their physical and medical needs going unrecognised and untreated. This unsatisfactory situation can often be compounded by the difficulty in encouraging men with a learning disability to engage with healthcare professionals, just as it is to encourage non-disabled men to do so.
Learning disability is not the same as learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties, otherwise known as dyslexia. Dyslexia is a condition that can affect anyone, regardless of intellectual ability or IQ level. Learning disability incorporates a number of meanings and possible causes (Box 1).