Co-production and pilot of a structured interview using Talking Mats® to survey the television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with learning disabilities

Karen Bunning, Ruth Alder, Lydia Proudman, Harriet Wyborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Capturing the views of people with learning disabilities is not straightforward. Talking Mats® has been used successfully to solicit the views of such individuals. The aim was to co-produce an interview schedule using Talking Mats® on the subject of television viewing habits and preferences of adults and young people with learning disabilities. A secondary aim was to assess the feasibility of the tool prior to a larger scale survey.
Materials and Methods: A co-production process was adopted for the development of the Talking Mats ® interview. Ten adults with learning disabilities were recruited as collaborators. Six people participated in an advisory group that met on six occasions. Four supplementary members reviewed the group's work separately. The collaborators generated vocabulary for the tool, selected the most meaningful graphic symbols and reviewed the categories of television programmes. A script to accompany the Talking Mats® procedure was developed and checked for linguistic complexity. The resulting tool was piloted with five participants. The procedure was video recorded and evaluated for procedural effectiveness.
Findings: Review of the video recordings from the pilot study revealed that no participant scored below the minimum effectiveness rating of 12. Areas of difficulty that were noted included: time duration of interview, tangibility of symbols and currency of vocabulary. These triggered a number of recommendations for address in the larger scale survey.
Conclusions: Working with people with learning disabilities as collaborators helped to develop a tool fit for purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1–11
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number1
Early online date4 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Co-production
  • graphic-representations
  • interview
  • linguistic analysis
  • Talking Mats®

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