Pulse Oximetry for Adults with Learning Disabilities Study

Date: 3rd August 2021

Researchers from Glasgow Caledonia University and the University of Oxford are doing research into whether Adults with learning disabilities are at higher risk of developing respiratory problems than adults without learning disabilities in the general population.

As part of this research, they are looking to monitor the respiratory health of adults with learning disabilities using pulse oximeters, a test that can be done at home and which can detect lower oxygen levels before other symptoms of respiratory problems occur. They are inviting parents of adults with Down’s syndrome who have respiratory issues to consider taking part.


Who can take part?

They are looking for parents (or main informal carer) of an adult with learning disabilities who:

  • Lives in Scotland
  • Lives at home with you; and
  • Has a known respiratory health condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Or
  • Is at risk of developing a respiratory health condition because they have dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) or severe or profound learning disabilities or complex needs.

Parents/informal carers of adults with learning disabilities who are currently experiencing acute respiratory or febrile illness, including positively diagnosed COVID-19, will not be able to take part.

What will the research involve?

You will be sent a pulse oximeter (to measure your relative’s oxygen levels and heart rate), a thermometer (to measure your relative’s body temperature), and guidelines on how to use both. You (or any member of the household or care team) will be asked to record these readings three times a day for three days, to establish their baseline (typical) readings.

Depending on these initial readings the research team will send you a pack containing a recording chart and some questionnaires for you to fill out and you may be asked to continue these recordings for 2 weeks.

You can read more about the study here.

If you are interested in taking part then please telephone Dr Janet Finlayson on 0141 331 3083, and leave a message with your contact details (name and telephone number) on the answer machine. Or alternatively, email Janet.Finlayson@gcu.ac.uk.