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.

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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #531
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysts' Use of Evidence-Based Practice: Where We Are and Where We Need To Be
Monday, May 27, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Lobby Level, Crystal Ballroom B
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Ronnie Detrich (Detrich and Associates)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Abstract:

Practitioners of any discipline should use evidence-based practice (EBP) to identify effective treatments for their clients (Wilczynski, 2017). The EBP decision-making model incorporates a practitioner’s use of professional judgment to integrate best available evidence with relevant client variables to make treatment decisions (Wilczynski, 2017). Although use of this decision-making model is recommended, how well do behavior analysts incorporate EBP factors into their everyday practice and how are their efforts perceived by relevant stakeholders including teachers and parents? Online surveys were sent to parents, teachers, and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to assess BCBAs’ overall use of EBP. EBP factors related to identifying effective treatments (e.g. past treatment effectiveness, overall health, client repertoire), treatment fidelity, and meaningful changes to the client’s life (e.g. quality of life, client preferences) were analyzed. Parent and teacher perspectives as well as BCBAs self-reported use of EBP will be shared. Parent, teacher, and BCBA collaboration, perceived inattention to relevant treatment selection factors, and proposed areas of growth for behavior analysts will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): decision-making model, Evidence-based practice, treatment selection
Target Audience:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)

 

Teachers’ Relationship With Behavior Analysts: How are Behavior Analysts Perceived in the School Setting

AMANDA HENDERSON (Ball State University )
Abstract:

Behavior analysts consulting with teachers will find unfavorable outcomes when the evidence-based practice (EBP) decision-making model for treatment selection is not used. Teachers implement (or oversee implementation) of interventions so teacher ‘buy in’ is important. An online survey assessed teachers’ perspectives on the use of EBP by behavior analysts. A total of 75,000 surveys were emailed. A total of 63 teachers completed the survey. Teachers were asked to rate how important EBP factors were to BCBAs when choosing an intervention. We hypothesized most teachers would believe BCBAs consistently used factors related to identifying effective treatments (e.g. past treatment effectiveness, overall health, client repertoire), treatment fidelity, and meaningful changes to client’s life (e.g. quality of life, client preferences) as important. Although this hypothesis was generally supported, 60% of teachers do not believe BCBAs perceive cost of treatment to be a relevant factor in selecting treatments. In addition, 20% of teachers believe treatment acceptability is not being given due consideration and 15-17% of teachers believe BCBAs are not using student preference, student health, treatment fidelity or previous treatment effectiveness in their treatment selection process. The consequences for the BCBA-teacher relationship and outcomes for students that result from these views will be discussed.

 

Hear Our Voice: Parents’ Perspectives on Behavior Analysts Use of Evidence-Based Practice

SHAWNNA SUNDBERG (Ball State University; Hoosier ABA)
Abstract:

Parents play a critical role in the evidence-based practice (EBP) decision-making model because behavior analysts risk selecting treatments that are less feasible or have a lower likelihood of being implemented with integrity if they ignore parent perspectives. An online survey assessed parents’ perspectives on the use of EBP by BCBAs. A total of 22 parents rated how often they believe the BCBAs with whom they have worked consider EBP factors when choosing interventions. These EBP factors include but are not restricted to identifying effective treatments (e.g. past treatment effectiveness, overall health, client repertoire) and making meaningful changes to client’s life (e.g., client preferences). We hypothesized parents would state that most BCBAs considered these factors when selecting treatments for the client. Instead, nearly 2/3rds of parents reported believing that BCBAs considered past treatment effectiveness and overall client health half the time or less when selecting treatments. Further, 59% and 46% of parents reported believing BCBAs considered client repertoire and client preference half of the time or less, respectively. Based on this limited sample, behavior analysts are either insufficiently considering these variables when selecting treatments or are not communicating effectively to parents about their decision-making process when selecting treatments.

 

Behavior Analysts’ Use of Evidence-Based Practice: Where Do We Go From Here

SUSAN WILCZYNSKI (Ball State University)
Abstract:

Practitioners of any discipline should use the evidence-based practice (EBP) decision-making model to identify effective treatments that make meaningful changes in the lives of their clients (Wilczynski, 2017). An online self-report survey was sent to assess Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) use of EBP in their everyday practice. A total of 127 BCBAs completed the survey in its entirety. BCBAs were asked to rate how important EBP factors were when choosing an intervention. Data were coded as either important or unimportant. We hypothesized BCBAs would rate factors related to identifying effective treatments (e.g. past treatment effectiveness, overall health, client repertoire), treatment fidelity, and meaningful changes to client’s life (e.g. quality of life, client preferences) as important. Our data suggest while the majority of BCBAs think identifying effective treatments (past treatment effectiveness, overall health, client repertoire), treatment fidelity, and making meaningful changes in their clients’ lives (quality of life, client preferences) are important to consider when choosing an intervention, they under appreciate the importance of cost of treatments. Does this mean behavior analysis risks being viewed as a concierge industry? The client, family, and societal implications of ignoring the cost of treatment are discussed.

 

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