Table 2

Extracts illustrating themes within participants’ accounts

Emergent themesIllustrative quotations
Research question 1: what challenges do people with mild learning disabilities encounter with self-managed care for STIs and BBV?
Accessing sexual healthcare“If you’ve got learning difficulties, you need the help. You can’t just read that…” [leaflet] (GF1)
“Well, you’ve explained it [self-sampling pack] to me so it’s easy when somebody’s explaining to me.” (DF1)
“…but if you don’t have a comprehension about why you’d be getting this [self-sampling pack], so that would freak you out.” (GF3)
Support from others“…if you live at home, with no support, and you don’t want your mum to know that you’re sexually active, how do you go about it?”
“I wouldn’t ask somebody that I couldn’t trust because I would like to keep that private.” (DF1)
“I’d get my support worker to help me.” (EM2)
“I‘d rather go to the doctor’s, ‘cause then you’d know what’s getting done, right then.” (GF4)
Research question 2: what are the views and opinions of people with mild learning disabilities on the self-sampling pack and its contents?
Using the pack“…it’s not giving you, like, instructions, like it’s not a clear indication there of how to use it.” (DF2)
“Well, to be honest with you, it can be a bit daunting.” (DM4)
“Are these for likes of to find out if you’ve got sexual diseases as well…as well as doing it the other way? Because I’ve not heard of doing it this way.” (DF1)
Accessibility of the pack“…the steps, the diagram is okay, but the writing should be a [little] bit bigger.” (DM4)
“…because it [stages on leaflet] goes across, and down, is that confusing, would it be easier if it had everything in a row?” (GF3)
Research question 3: which elements of the pack could be adjusted to improve uptake and facilitate correct usage in this group?
Contents of the pack“Yeah, but it’s not explaining it more, see if it’s done the right way or the wrong way… so it’s not clear… I think that would be a lot tricky for some people to get caught out on.” (GM5)
“But what, why, what STI is it for? [self-sampling pack]” (GF8)
“But it’s like, they’ve gave you a blood sample bottle, but they’ve given you nothing to take it with.” (GM3)
“Definitely include them [condoms] because people might not want to get infected again.” (DF3)
Using the contents of the pack“I’m not going to say what I think… I just call it my back passage…See, you wouldn’t know if that’s the back to the front… [anatomical diagram].” (DF1)
“Because I think you could do the swab, and you might have taken it wrongly. Or you could have taken it incorrectly, and it would have given an improper reading.” (GF3)
“These [blood sample kit] look like what, if you’re a diabetic, you have to go and get your sugars done, and that’s what I was meaning.” (GF1)
“I’m diabetic, so I know I’m used to needles.” (GM3)
  • Due to the small sample size, participant characteristics are limited to gender to prevent deductive disclosure (F, female; M, male; G/D/E code relates to locality).

  • BBV, bloodborne virus.