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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #562
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluations of Clinical Contexts and Interventions Impacting Staff Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2022
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 257B
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kimberly Sloman (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment/ Florida Institute of Technology )
Discussant: Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: Kimberly Sloman, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium includes four applied studies that evaluate contexts impacting staff behavior, including implementation of client programming and work attendance, in clinical settings. The first paper by presented by Mary Lewis will discuss the effects of staff implementation of self-monitoring on discrete trial instruction (DTI), specifically intertrial intervals. The second paper by presented Kamila Garcia Marchante will discuss the effects of data collection type (i.e., continuous vs. discontinuous) on treatment integrity of discrete trial instruction. The third paper presented by Kacie McGarry will discuss the effects of data collection type (i.e., continuous vs. discontinuous) on staff behavior (e.g., learning opportunities, client engagement, praise statements) during discrete trial instruction. The last paper presented by Paula Antonelli will discuss a goal setting intervention to decrease RBT call outs. We will welcome Dr. Corina Jimenez-Gomez to present a summary and discussion of each of the papers.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): continuous data, discontinuous data, self-monitoring, staff management
Target Audience: intermediate
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the effects of self-monitoring on rate of DTI (2) state the differential effects of data collection system on staff behavior and treatment integrity (3) discuss the effectiveness of goal setting and incentive systems on RBT call outs
Effect of Self-Monitoring on Inter-Trial Intervals During Discrete Trial Training
MARY LOUISE LEWIS (Florida Institute of Technology), Rachael Tilka (Florida Institute of Technology ), Kimberly Sloman (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment/ Florida Institute of Technology ), Katie Nicholson (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Self-monitoring is a common tool within a treatment package, but rarely evaluated as a sole intervention. This intervention is cost effective and requires little to no supervisor involvement. Discrete trial training (DTT) can be a difficult program to implement fluently. However, accurate implementation can lead to a decrease in intertrial intervals (ITI) as well as problem behavior and an increase in learning opportunities for clients. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of registered behavior technicians using self-monitoring to increase their rate of trials, which could also lead to a decrease in intertrial intervals. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess the effects of self-monitoring on ITI duration while implementing DTT in an ASD clinic. Results showed an increase in the rate of trials due to self-monitoring and a decrease in intertrial interval duration for both participants. In the future, self-monitoring may be a valuable tool for direct staff employees implementing complex programs.
Assessing the Impact of Data Collection System on Treatment Integrity
KAMILA GARCIA GARCIA MARCHANTE (University of Miami), Yanerys Leon (University of Miami), Franchesca Izquierdo (University of Miami), Anibal Gutierrez Jr. (University of Miami), Elaine Espanola (University of Miami), Brandi Burton (University of Miami)
Abstract: : Several factors have been shown to impact treatment fidelity (e.g., training, competing contingencies). One competing contingency that could impact treatment fidelity is data collection system (i.e., continuous or discontinuous). Researchers have suggested that the demand to collect continuous data during discrete trial instruction (DTI) may result in degraded integrity. Despite the advantages of continuous data, researchers have suggested that such advantages should be weighed with the potential cost of degraded levels of integrity. The purpose of this study was to assess treatment integrity of implementation during DTI when therapists were collecting data continuously versus discontinuously (i.e., first trial only). Preliminary data show that treatment integrity was often higher when therapists were collecting trial-by-trial data compared to first-trial-only data.

Evaluating the Effects of Continuous and Discontinuous Data Collection on Staff Behavior During Discrete Trial Instruction

Kimberly Sloman (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment/ Florida Institute of Technology ), KACIE M MCGARRY (Florida Institute of Technology ), Sandhya Rajagopal (Marcus Autism Center), Mary Louise Lewis (Florida Institute of Technology), Julianne I Fernandez (Florida Institute of Technology; Scott Center for Autism Treatment )

Several studies have evaluated the effects of different data collection systems on efficiency and effectiveness of skill acquisition programs for individuals with autism and related disabilities. Fewer studies have evaluated the effects of the data collection system on staff behavior. Lotfizadeh, Herron, and Poling (2019) compared the frequency of learning opportunities during continuous (trial-by-trial) and discontinuous (first trial only) data collection. Results showed that therapists implemented a greater number of trials during the continuous data collection condition. The purpose of our study was to extend these findings by comparing the effects of continuous and discontinuous electronic data collection methods on both number of learning trials and quality of staff interaction (i.e., orientation to student, praise and reinforcer delivery). Results show that while number of trials was relatively consistent across both data collection systems, discontinuous data resulted in a higher quality of staff-student interaction. Implications for student outcomes and staff preference will also be discussed.

Goal Setting to Decrease Registered Behavior Technician Call Outs
PAULA ANTONELLI (Behavior Basics, Inc), Victoria Ryan (Behavior Basics Inc.)
Abstract: Frequent callouts of registered behavior technicians providing direct therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and mental health diagnoses have negative impacts on clinical organizations, staff, and clients’ overall treatment consistency and therapeutic progress. Many organizations within the human service field experience the negative impacts of callouts and strain this causes on other staff. The current study set out to decrease registered behavior technician callouts by creating a standard criterion for attendance for staff’s preferences to be honored (i.e., schedule preferences and approval of non-medical time off requests) and to be eligible for a performance-based merit increase at set review times. The current study was able to increase staff daily attendance for scheduled sessions and maintain above 90% for five consecutive months without providing additional monetary incentives.



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