Training in psychosocial frameworks brings about reduction in problematic behaviours


Training for staff supporting people whose behaviour is challenging is a crucial part of appropriate and consistent supports. This study set out to provide a pilot evaluation of development workshops with direct care staff supporting people described as having significant psychosocial difficulties.

The staff teams attended a series of workshops which were designed to use a psychosocial framework to help staff work through a case formulation for the individual they were supporting.

Measures of problematic behaviour taken after attendance at the workshops showed decreases in such behaviours displayed by the individual and in addition, the perceptions of the staff teams regarding the severity of such behaviours also changed. The evaluation showed that the teams involved described beneficial impacts of the workshops on their practice.

The authors conclude that the evaluation of this approach suggested that workshops were feasible, positively received and associated with changes in the psychosocial difficulties displayed by the individuals staff were supporting, although some caution is advised in generalising too far from these early results and further longer term follow up is advised.

Collaborative psychosocial case formulation development workshops: a case study with direct care staff , Ingham B, in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 5, 2, 9-15

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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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