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Background and Problem Statement

The research proposal is prepared with the focus on research inquiry and conducting a learning project to improve upon a specific area of practice and thus facilitate collaborative learning. The main focus of conducting this research is to identify and evaluate the impact of lockdown imposed on nations, due to the Covid 19 outbreak on the mental health and wellbeing of the individuals with some sort of learning disabilities, staying within a supported living home. The problem of research discusses the negative impact that has been caused by lockdown due to the Covid 19 outbreak, on the mental health and well-being of the individuals with learning difficulties (Trip et al. 2022).

The research is being conducted to identify how the Covid 19 outbreak and lockdowns imposed, have created drastic effects on the mental state of individuals with learning disabilities as well as hampering their ability to perform daily activities properly.

The research aims to evaluate the harmful impact that has been caused by lockdown, due to Covid 19 outbreak, on the persons, who suffer from learning disabilities or illness

  • To identify the Covid 19 impact on the mental state of individuals with a learning disability
  • To evaluate the various causes of poor mental health and well-being in individuals with a learning disability
  • To assess the impact of Covid 19 impact and lockdown on preventing social activities, thus, making individuals feel dependent on others and resulting in a poor mental state
  • To recommend various measures for improving the mental health and wellbeing of individuals with a learning disability
  • What specific population of individuals have been considered in this research, who have been affected by the lockdown imposed?
  • What are the main reasons for which, individuals with a learning disability have experienced poor mental health conditions?
  • What is the impact of lockdown on the mental health and well-being of people with learning disabilities?
  • What are the various measures recommended for improving the mental health of individuals, who experience learning disability or illness?

Covid 19 pandemic has greatly changed the lifestyle of the people. The results could be reflected in the affectation of the mental health and well-being of the people. To control the spread of the coronavirus, and affected rates, the government, in consultation with the health ministry, imposed a lockdown. Due to this, people were confined in their homes and could not go outside, except for getting the medicines and other essentials for survival, that too with proper protection, that is, wearing masks, keeping sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing. Heidari et al. (2022) state that the continuity of the lockdowns was elongated, which caused depression, and boredom within the people, as they could not go out, and lead a normal life, as they used to lead life before the outbreak of Covid 19. Mention could be made of the adults with learning disabilities, who needed extra care and attention during the Covid 19 lockdown. The caregivers felt added responsibilities, as they had to manage work from home, do household work, and attend to the needs of the adults with learning disabilities. Restrictions were imposed on these adults with learning disabilities, which sometimes reflected aggressive behaviors, leading to self-harm and harm to others. A supported living home ensures proper care for adults with learning disabilities. According to the arguments of Patel et al. (2021), Covid 19 lockdown indicated a reduction in access to services and support for the adults with learning disabilities as well as their caregivers. The reading enriched my knowledge of how covid 19 lockdown affected the mental health and well-being of the adults with learning disabilities, helping in critiquing the scholarly reviews.

Like other countries, the impact of the Covid 19 lockdown on the mental health well-being of the adults with learning disabilities in supported homes, was reflected in reduced referrals of mental health services among the older adults (Tromans et al. 2020). Theis et al. (2021) argued that Covid 19 lockdown reflected a reduction in the physical activities of the adults with mental health disabilities, resulting in mood swings, regression in fitness, and social learning among the adults with learning disabilities, living in supported homes. These sources have upgraded my knowledge on the lack of access to mental healthcare services, contributing to the formation of the rationale for which the research needs to be conducted. This lack of proper access sheds light on the long-term mental health programs planned by the support homes, aggravating the complexities of health conditions in adults with learning disabilities. Here, the arguments of Lunsky et al. (2022) are also relevant and highlight barriers to getting timely mental healthcare services, worsening the health conditions of the adults suffering from learning disabilities, under the support care of the support homes. Covid 19 brought new instructions and service patterns of mental healthcare services, to which the clients were not accustomed. There were delays in processing the administrative healthcare data and reports online, as it was the new normal. Observations of adults with learning disabilities discovered increased stress, anxiety, and isolation, making them feel neglected. The reading contributed to my knowledge of proposing recommendations for improving mental healthcare interventions, which could be integrated into the Potential Impact of the applied practitioner section of the research.

Literature Review

Willner et al. (2020) also stated that the people with an intellectual disability or mental illness are at higher risks of infection for a range of reasons such as physical health issues, social circumstances ad limitations to understanding, due to impaired cognitive ability, Their life expectancy is lower compared to normal people, which also makes them suffer from other health issues, and this has alleviated since they have been confined within homes, without anyone to talk or move outside, during Covid 19 lockdown. People with mental issues and learning difficulties stay in various models of accommodation such as care homes, supported living homes, and hospital in-patient services. All these are congregated settings, where the elderly carers’ health is often compromised, as they required consistent support and help, due to being over-dependent on others. Burton et al. (2021) highlight that with the lockdown imposed due to Covid 19 outbreak, people with learning disabilities have faced difficulty to advocate themselves and remained dependent on others to keep them safe from infections. Also, the lockdown resulted in a lack of access to enough healthcare services, and with little support from the community, their cognitive ability has also hindered their adherence to public health measures regarding the outspread of the virus. They are unable to manage self-isolation, hand washing, and physical distance maintenance, due to learning difficulties, which further has posed an increased amount of risks to themselves as well as others. Moreover, lockdown resulting in prevention of moving outside and maintenance of social distancing measures, have further heightened the behaviors, which alleviated anxiety, and paranoid thinking, thus, resulting in reduced ability to practice proper measures to tackle Covid 19 outbreak. López et al. (2020) are of the view that due to lockdown, even many medical staffs were unable to come to work, which also heightened the nursing shortage, as a result of which, the level of support received by people with learning disabilities at the supporting living homes were not adequate when compared to the service level during the pre-pandemic period.

The literature gaps could be the few areas that remain unexplored such as the literature review did not provide much search information about how the individuals with learning disabilities, experienced adverse health effects during the lockdown. Also, the lack of focus on their mental health being affected by external factors was not discussed here, rather the lack of support at the supported living homes, and poor carer support was the main focus here which created gaps (Wright et al. 2021). The gaps in literature could also reduce the broadening of the scope of research and keep specific areas of research unexplored, which might even hinder achieving successful research outcomes.

The mixed methods research has been considered here as the research requires combining both qualitative and quantitative data and information for providing answers to the research questions and also justify the literature review section. The collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data are to be done here for gaining insights into the research study and to ensure the achievement of good research outcomes too. The mixed-methods could help in gaining a complete picture, rather than a single qualitative or quantitative study, which also draws benefits of both qualitative and quantitative research methods (Mohajan, 2018). Also, the use of mixed methods research helps in multidisciplinary settings and helps in coping with complex situations with much ease and effectiveness. This research method firs the subject, as it considers viewpoints from different areas, which also generates the right kind of data and information, for understanding the theme properly and also the gaps found in the literature section. Due to acquiring data on the same subject, using different methods, in a combined manner, the results become more credible and thus, improving the validity of the conclusion or results too.

Research Aims and Objectives

The limitations of the research method include a high workload due to being labor-intensive, which demonstrates the fact that collection, analysis, and synthesis of information and data consume a lot of time and effort (Pandey and Pandey 2021). There are differing conflicts of interest while the different forms of data for qualitative and quantitative research, it is much more difficult to compare the results systematically.

Various research tools have been used such as questionnaires used for the survey process and conducting interviews, all of which are useful here. The questionnaires must be prepared with a set of open and close-ended questions and then transferred to the participants of the research through email and social networks. This could be a great way to acquire data and information, in the form of their responses, while interviewing the participants could also help in driving their responses without any bias (Pandey and Pandey 2021). These tools should help in generating the right kind of data and appropriately explore the theme of research (refer to appendix).

The data and information would be collected through various procedures including the management of the survey process and interviews as well. Both primary and secondary data are required, as it is a mixed methods research. The primary data constitutes the qualitative and quantitative data acquired in the research. The survey questionnaires are to be prepared consisting of a set of questions and then distribute to the respondents through emails, social networks, chat messages, etc., considered as sample members. The responses of the respondents in the survey questionnaire represent statistical data, which is the quantitative data (Flick 2018). The qualitative data, on the other hand, would be collected through interview sessions, conducted with the managers of the supported living homes. They should be provided with a convenient time when they could be available to answer the questions asked by the research, related to the subject of research. The responses of the managers are considered qualitative data, which constitutes the primary data as well. The secondary resources of data include various journals, articles, documents, newspapers, and information found on websites, demonstrating the impact of the Covid 19 outbreak and lockdown on the mental health of persons, who have some kind of learning and intellectual disabilities. The secondary data sources were used to form the literature section of the research (Kalu, Unachukwu, and Ibiam 2019).

The analysis of statistical or quantitative data is to be done with the use of the SPSS tool, which represents the statistical methods of analyzing data by using descriptive statistics, frequencies, and inferential statistics. This facilitates the presentation of quantitative data in the form of graphs, tables, and charts. The thematic analysis could be done for analysing the qualitative data and interpreting the differing areas of the phenomenon effectively too (Logan 2020).

The population involved in the proposed research study includes a few of the patients and their family members to whom the survey questionnaires have been distributed for acquiring their responses, while the managers are also considered as participants in the proposed research study. The study population has been selected with the use of a sampling technique or strategy. The sampling strategy means studying the sample for a population group, which allows the researcher to infer information and data about the population based on results derived from the subset of the population, without needing to investigate every individual. Thus, the selection of a specific group of samples is done among the large group population, which reduces the cost and workload, while making it easier and more convenient to acquire the highest quality information and data (Majid 2018).


Here the random probability sampling technique has been considered to reduce selection bias, and select a smaller group of people from a large group population. The respondents are selected randomly and then provided with the survey questionnaires to generate their responses without any biases. The non-probability convenience sampling technique could be useful for creating a convenient time for the managers of the supported living homes to be a part of the session and present their views and opinions, based on the questions asked, which represent the qualitative data and information for the research.  The study population, in the form of samples, has been considered 40 customers and 5 managers of the organization (Cash et al. 2022).

Ethical issues that tend to emerge while conducting the research could be the loss of confidential and private data, pressuring individuals to be a part of a research procedure, and even failing to acquire informed consent, before being a part of the research. Fabrication and falsification of data and information also create misconduct whereas the use of redundant publications and plagiarism could also contribute to the ethical issues experienced while conducting the research.

The participants of the research must be provided with an application asking for their informed consent to become a part of the research and survey process. None of the respondents or any other people must be forced to part in the research whereas it is also important to maintain the confidentiality of information and identity of individuals (Iphofen and Tolich 2018) The colleagues and management must also be informed and communicated about the purpose of doing the research, which is for academic purpose and there is no goal to attain any commercial benefits. Also, keeping information and data used in the research protected in databases could prevent loss of data as well as maintain authenticity and reliability of search information, in case research is done for a similar subject in the future. Limitations of confidentiality could though be a lack of open communication, and failure to use data and information about the participants, which could affect the authenticity and genuineness of the research.

The limitations of research methodology could be the issues with selection of proper samples, insufficient size of samples, lack of existing studies and information, limited access to data and information, and time and cost constraints too (Cascio and Racine 2018).

Main activities/ stages













Selection of topic

Collecting data from secondary sources

Constructing the research layout

Literature review

Development of research Plan

Selection of Appropriate Research Techniques

Primary data collection

Analysis & Interpretation of Data which are collected


Development of Draft

Final Work submission

The research skills and knowledge acquired have definitely impacted the research outcomes and also my skills and expertise in handling client-based projects effectively. The major skills that are acquired include the ability to search for information extensively from various sources, accumulate those, and then prepare a properly documented analysis. With the help of this research, I have managed to give attention to details and actively listened to the individuals who shared their necessary thoughts, ideas, and opinions, while even allowing me to manage time. From the arguments of Beckett et al. (2018), it was necessary to complete the research within 9 months, and I made sure to complete it within the located time frame. There were a few issues that were experienced while conducting the research and here I have also attained the problem-solving skills, which have been overcome with the help of communication with the research participants.  

Expected Results and Conclusion

The skills to communicate and solve problems have been driven by collaborative working, where I worked with others and as a team to share a diverse range of ideas, opinions, and feedback, which improve decision making too. While working on the research, I have communicated with multiple persons such as a few of the patients or individuals with learning disabilities, admitted at the supported living homes, and also the care workers, and managers of the organization. Affirming the arguments of Passmore (2019) has vastly improved my skills to communicate and build professional relationships with them, which also helped me to gain their informed consent while influencing them to be a part of the research. While working with the other members of the team, I have learned to respect their values, beliefs, and practices, while even considering their ideas, opinions, and feedback, which allowed me to work as a team and focus on the accomplishment of shared goals and objectives of the research.

The research skills acquired here by me could allow me to conduct similar kind of research and even prepare a proper dissertation on different research subjects quite easily, It has allowed me to learn the essence of analyzing and collecting data and information from different sources, which might even allow me to find a suitable role within an organization as a data analyst in the future. According to Gazeley et al. (2019), besides the improvement of outcomes for the patients, i.e., the individuals with learning disabilities, and the work environment, the research could allow me to evaluate social interactions, resolve issues externally that might affect health, through following Covid 19 strict protocols and restrictions and even addressing the needs of benchmarking. The findings of the research point out the need to apply cognitive behavioral therapy for the patients and also allow them to walk, roam freely within an environment that is free from external environment issues, thus, allowing the individuals with learning difficulties to feel free, concentrate and gradually transform their learning behaviors positively.


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Burton, A., McKinlay, A., Aughterson, H., and Fancourt, D., 2021. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and well-being of adults with mental health conditions in the UK: a qualitative interview study. Journal of Mental Health, pp.1-8.

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Cash, P., Isaksson, O., Maier, A. and Summers, J., 2022. Sampling in design research: Eight key considerations. Design studies, 78, p.101077.

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The trip, H., Northway, R., Perkins, E., Mirfin?Veitch, B., and Adams, R., 2022. COVID?19: Evolving challenges and opportunities for residential and vocational intellectual disability service providers. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 19(1), pp.102-115.

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