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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #456
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysis Applied: Brain Injury Staff Edition
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: CBM/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Anneka Hofschneider (Centre for Neuro Skills)
Discussant: Megan R. Heinicke (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Anneka Hofschneider, M.S.

Traumatic brain injury affects approximately 1.7 million Americans each year. Irritability, impulsivity, decreased attention, problems with perseveration and overstimulation, as well as lack of insight are common problems following brain injury. With difficult behaviors a common occurrence, staff employed to work with individuals with brain injury must be highly skilled and prepared to manage potential daily challenges. The presentations in this symposium will focus on the importance of well-trained staff. First, an evaluation of a commercially-available staff training program will be reviewed. Findings from the multi-site project will be presented including implications for application of the training curriculum and its use in further research. Next, results from a national survey of rehabilitation staff specifically regarding training and education received on how to manage difficult behavior will be presented along with an in depth discussion on how to incorporate ABA-specific training into the education of therapeutic staff to facilitate improved clinical practices and positively impact patient outcomes.

Keyword(s): Brain Injury, Rehabilitation, Staff Training
Staff Training Curriculum Evaluation: BehaviorTools® in Brain Injury
CHRIS PERSEL (Centre for Neuro Skills), Jessica A. Thompson Scibilia Scibilia (Consultant)
Abstract: Staff employed to engage in rehabilitative activities with individuals who have an acquired brain injury will arguably encounter challenging behaviors most work days, and as a result require specialized training with how to interact with and respond to the patients with whom they work. While training in the implementation of individual behavior intervention programs may be provided, generalization of behavioral concepts from one program by a therapist to use with another patient is often contraindicated. With staff seeking additional behavioral aptitude, a company-wide training addressing interactions between staff and patients was desired. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a staff training curriculum previously shown effective in other populations at increasing positive interactions and decreasing negative interactions between those using the skills taught and those with whom they are interacting. Statistically significant findings from a 4 site extended duration project will be presented including results of paired samples t-tests for pre-training and post-training group data. Non-concurrent multiple baseline data will also be reviewed for select participants from the larger group to lend additional support for study findings. In addition, sub-analyses of group statistics will be presented for various types of staff interactions. Limitations, application challenges, and directions for further research will be discussed.
Just Teach it: Are Rehabilitation Therapists prepared to handle difficult behavior?
CHRIS PERSEL (Centre for Neuro Skills), Jessica A. Thompson Scibilia Scibilia (Consultant)
Abstract: Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and staff working within brain injury rehabilitation facilities have the challenge of frequently encountering patients who do not want to participate in what are usually difficult activities. In some cases, patients cannot even identify the need for such therapies. While therapists may be highly skilled and well-trained within their individual discipline of study, they may be ill prepared to manage problem behaviors from their patients. If trained improperly while earning their credentials and/or license, or if not trained formally in how to engage individuals with difficult behavior, therapist reactions to problem behaviors and interactions during rehabilitation may in fact shape more severe problem behavior. The result may be a more difficult patient who is more resistant to behavior change strategies over time. In an effort to assess how therapists from varied disciplines working in the field of acquired brain injury are trained in behavior analysis, a 9-question survey was disseminated nationally to assess factors such as type of training received, required versus elective training opportunities, and formal training received during higher education versus training received in applied fieldwork. Summative and statistical findings from the 94 respondents will be presented. Topics related to application and dissemination of behavior analysis to these varied disciplines will be explored. Further implications for future research, and suggestions for improved training, practice and patient outcomes will be presented.



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