Mapping stakeholders to maximise the impact of research on health inequalities for people with learning disabilities: the development of a framework for the Making Positive Moves study

Francesca Beeken, Dafni Katsampa, Moureen Duxbury, Helen Ellis-Caird, Annabel Head, Sam Prowse, David Wellsted, Pashtana Zormati, Silvana Mengoni, Louisa Rhodes

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Background: People with learning disabilities experience health and social inequalities, and research that could improve health services may not be implemented in real‐life settings. Building stakeholder networks that can share and implement research findings may address this. This paper presents a framework for building a stakeholder network that maximises the likelihood of research recommendations being implemented in practice. This was developed as part of the ‘Making Positive Moves’ (MPM) study, which explores the experiences of people with learning disabilities following discharge from a residential stay within a hospital inpatient setting. Methods: We reviewed the literature on existing theoretical frameworks to support the development of a model for dissemination of the MPM findings. Stakeholder categories were identified through consultation with the MPM researchers, experts by experience and the steering group and a hub and spoke model to represent all stakeholder categories was created. These categories include person moving; family of the person moving; specialist schools; social care; care providers; regulators; third sector organisations; policy organisations; academic community; and NHS professionals. After establishing the categories, we consulted with people with learning disabilities and other stakeholders and conducted online searches to create a stakeholder database. Through information gathering and direct contact with stakeholders, we assessed levels of interest, power and engagement to determine which stakeholders to prioritise in our dissemination activities. The Stakeholder Wheel was created to present the data captured within the database and engagement profiles in an illustrative way. Findings: We use two stakeholder sub‐categories, user‐led organisations and care providers, to demonstrate the methodological approach. The examples illustrate how a scoring system helped us to identify high‐priority stakeholders who we then contacted to collaborate within developing our dissemination strategy to maximise the impact of the MPM research findings. Conclusions: We developed a framework to map stakeholders for the MPM study and enable targeted dissemination to increase the impact of the research. This approach has the potential to reduce health inequalities among people with learning disabilities by increasing the awareness of and ability to implement evidence‐based recommendations in real‐life settings. The stakeholder mapping framework could be applied to research projects associated with learning disabilities to bridge the gap between research and practice and reduce health inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Early online date4 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024


  • collaborative practice
  • health
  • health & social care policy and practice
  • intellectual disability
  • learning (intellectual) disabilities
  • research


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