Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #335
Plugging into Technology: Innovations in Behavioral Medicine
Sunday, May 26, 2019
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Swissôtel, Event Center Second Floor, Vevey 3/4
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Brennan Patrick Armshaw (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Research in Behavior Analysis has produced a sophisticated understanding of the organization of behavior. Such advances illuminate the operant nature of many acts previously thought to be impervious to feedback/antecedent control. These developments suggest that the domains in which behavior analysis might contribute are broader than previously appreciated. Behavior Analysis of health-related behavior, for example, comprises a diverse array of interests and each component area represents a unique opportunity for socially significant impact and diversification of the field. The present symposium offers 3 examples of contingency management of health-related behavior. The first paper, by Batchelder & Washington, examines the effects of prompts and feedback on increasing the activity level of sedentary university employees in a multiple-baseline design across participants. The second paper, by Otero & Vaidya, describes the effects of a contingency management procedure to decrease body movements in healthy children. The long-term goal of the project is to avoid sedation for children undergoing radiotherapy for cancer treatment. The final paper, by Armshaw & Vaidya, examines the effects of reinforcement and gamification on increasing the amplitude of deactivated muscles necessary for full functional use of the knee for injury or total knee replacement surgery.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavioral Medicine, Exercise, Health, Technology
Effects of Reinforcement and Prompts to Reduce Sedentary Behavior in University Employees
SYDNEY BATCHELDER (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Wendy Donlin Washington (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: The CDC guidelines for physical activity cannot negate the health effects of sitting ≥10 hours/day (CDC, 2016; Pandey et al., 2016). Sedentary workplaces in the US have increased by 10% over 50 years (Henschel et al., 2017). Employees could benefit from interventions to decrease inactivity. In a multiple baseline across participants design, 12 university employees were randomly assigned to a prompts-only, reinforcement-only, or reinforcement-plus-prompts intervention. Fitbits were worn at work. No prompts, feedback or reinforcement were delivered during baseline. During intervention, goals were ≥400 steps/hour. For the prompts-only condition, Fitbits vibrated every work hour concurrent with a text-message prompt. In the reinforcement-only condition, participants earned money according to an escalating schedule starting at $0.25 and incrementing by $0.10. The reinforcement-plus-prompts condition the other two treatments. Efficacy of prompting and monetary rewards will be discussed.

Pediatric Radiation Oncology With Movie Induced Sedation Effect: Contingency Management of Movement

MARIA JOSE OTERO (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)

Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of continuous positive and negative feedback loops on compliance with the movement requirements of radiotherapy procedures on healthy children. In the first study we compared the amount of movement children engaged in under instructions to stay still and the amount of movement when continuous access to a movie was contingent on low levels of movement. Results for four children showed that instructions alone reduced movement relative to a no-instruction baseline, however, the contingencies were further effective in reducing movement to below 5mm over a 5-minute period. In the second study we compared the amount of movement that occurred when children had (a) instructions to stay still, (b) non-contingent access to a movie, and lastly (c) access to a movie contingent on a small amount of movement. The results from the second study suggest that the effects of instructions are short-lived, that even non-contingent access to a movie can reduce movement, and that the greatest reduction in movement was observed under the contingent-access condition.

Contingency Management of Physical Rehabilitation: The Role of Feedback
BRENNAN PATRICK ARMSHAW (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The current work consists of two studies with healthy students. Studies examined the effectiveness of different feedback types on muscle activity of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) as measured by surface electromyography (sEMG). Study One aimed to identify the optimal conditions for producing a maximum voluntary individual contraction (MVIC) of the VMO. Participants were instructed to flex as hard as they can under 3 different feedback conditions: instruction only, instruction + feedback, and instruction + feedback in a game context. Across 10 participants feedback in the game context condition lead to higher MVIC values. Study Two applied the MVIC techniques developed during Study One to an Exercise procedure. Using the MVIC value as the criteria for feedback Study Two compared the same three conditions, assessing for the conditions under which exercise performance was optimal. Across all 9 participants the feedback in a game context condition lead to the participant working harder (measured by area under the curve). 8 out of 9 participants exceeded the MVIC value more often during the feedback in a game context condition. These findings help broaden the scope of practice for behavior analysis and may inform improvements in current physical rehabilitation techniques.



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