Applied behaviour analysis is clinically effective and cost-effective at 2 year follow up


Previous studies have reported that the use of applied behaviour analysis by a specialist team in addition to standard treatment for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour was both clinically effective and cost-effective after 6 months.

This study reported a 2-year follow-up of the same trial cohort. The study found that  participants who were receiving the specialist intervention had significantly lower total and sub-domain scores on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist than those receiving support without the specialist element.

The team adjusted the for baseline covariates and found no significant difference in costs between the trial arms suggesting continued clinical and cost effectiveness over a two year period.

Applied behaviour analysis and standard treatment in intellectual disability: 2-year outcomes, Hassiotis A et al., in British Journal of Psychiatry 198: 490-491.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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