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.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #53
CE Offered: BACB
Development and Evaluation of Behavioral Interventions in an Applied Medical Setting
Friday, September 2, 2022
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Liffey A
Area: AUT/CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jacqueline McKendry, M.S.
Chair: Jacqueline McKendry (Simmons University)
JACQUELINE MCKENDRY (Simmons University; Boston Medical Center)
SARA BASTIN (Boston Medical Center)
ALEX FRIEDMAN (Boston Medical Center)

Hospital visits can be challenging for some autistic patients due to unmet communication, sensory, and behavioral needs. We launched three studies to analyze the healthcare experiences of autistic individuals and to the efficacy of a new hospital-wide intervention for autistic patients. First, a Delphi study involving three rounds of survey was conducted to identify components of an Autism Friendly healthcare practice according to autistic individuals, family members, and professionals in the field. Themes that emerged from highly ranked survey items include environmental/operational modifications and autism-focused staff training. Following the Delphi study, we conducted focus groups with seven autistic youth to gather in-depth qualitative details of their healthcare experiences. Findings aligned with the initial Delphi study, whereby the type and level of specific support that autistic patients need vary across individuals. To provide individualized support, our program launched a behavioral support service for autistic patients during medical encounters. We are in the process of conducting single subject research across participants using a multiple baseline design to evaluate the efficacy of evidence-based behavioral interventions to decrease challenging behaviors and increase compliance during medical appointments. Findings will inform the barriers and facilitators to implementation of behavior analytic interventions in an applied medical setting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Behavior analysts, medical providers/medical staff, practitioners

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the barriers neurodivergent patients may face within a healthcare setting; (2) identify behavioral strategies and accommodations that may be used to increase tolerance and compliance with medically necessary procedures; (3) identify ways in which practitioners may collaborate with medical providers to decrease barriers in accessing care and increase the quality of care for patients through an Autism Friendly Initiative.
Keyword(s): Autistic voices, Behavioral medicine, Healthcare access, Medical setting



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