This study examined the relationship between parents of children with learning
disabilities and healthcare professionals providing services to them. Parents were
asked to name the most and least helpful professional they had experienced contact
with in relation to their child with learning disabilities and rate them using an
adapted version of the Helping Behaviour Checklist (HBCL-A) (Cournoyer and
Johnson, 1991). An adapted version of the Providers Beliefs About Parents
Questionnaire (PBAP-A) (Johnson et al, 1994) measured the degree to which
professionals endorsed a collaborative approach towards working with parents of
children with learning disabilities across blame, inform, validate and instruct factors.
The extent to which these professionals' beliefs on the PBAP-A influenced parents
choice of most and least helpful professional was examined. Further analyses
investigated whether other characteristics of professionals or characteristics of the
family influenced parents choice and rating on the HBCL-A of most and least helpful
professionals. Parents choice of the most and least helpful professional was not found
to be influenced by professionals' beliefs on the PBAP-A. Parents were more likely
to name the professional as most helpful than least if they understood their role, had
larger number of contacts and ongoing contact with them, and had a greater degree
of congruence with professionals' beliefs on the instruct factor of the PBAP-A.
HBCL-A ratings of most helpful professionals were correlated with parents' age and
factors concerning parental stress, support and child's behaviour. HBCL-A ratings of
least helpful professionals were correlated with parents' beliefs about parents on the
validate factor. Implications for service provision were discussed.