Challenging behaviour training may change carer attributions whether or not these are the focus of training


We have posted previously about the impact of carer attributions regarding the behaviour of people with learning disabilities and the impact these can have on carer responses. The authors of this systematic review were interested in the effects of carer training in challenging and complex behaviour.

The researchers searched the literature and included papers that reported outcomes for carer training on the behaviour of people with learning disabilities using measures of carer attribution of behaviour. They considered characteristics of scales content and length of training as possible factors affecting changes in attribution.

They found 11 papers that met the inclusion criteria. Most of the papers were studies using behavioural curricula for training. None explicitly set out to change attributions.

They found 8 of the 11 papers reporting changes in attribution, but it was not possible from the results presented to distinguish studies that reported such changes and those that did not.

The authors conclude that they found changes in beliefs and attributions occurring in the studies they reviewed, whether or not these were identified as a focus in the training. They suggest that the

formulation processes involved in behavioural training may play a key part in changing attributions as a consequence of this training.

They recommend more focused interventions that are specifically designed to change attributions and the development of measures of attribution change as a result of these interventions.

Changes in Attributions as a Consequence of Training for Challenging and Complex Behaviour for Carers of People with Learning Disabilities: A Systematic Review, Williams, S. et al,, in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25: 203–216

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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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