Use of behaviour consultants reduced restrictive intervention in people learning disability and challenging behaviour


Behaviour support plans to guide the way supporters respond and react to people with learning disabilities who are described as having behaviour that challenges are fundamental to the quality of support they receive.

The authors of this Australian study were interested in looking at the quality of the plans and their effectiveness in providing support.

They set out to test the idea that there may be some key factors which could influence the quality of behaviour support plans and consequently impact on the use of restrictive interventions in support.

To look at this, they carried out an audit of the quality of a sample of Behaviour Support Plans submitted to the Senior Practitioner in Victoria for 2009 and 2010. They assessed the plans using the Behavior Support Plan Quality Evaluation, 2nd Edition (BSP- QE II).

They found that the factors which positively influenced quality of Behaviour Support Plans included involvement of behaviour consultants and also involving clinicians from the Office of the Senior Practitioner. They found that the quality of plans was negatively related to restrictive intervention use over time.

The findings of the audit seemed to suggest that there was a continued need for behaviour intervention and the provision of appropriate clinical support.

One other area they explored was the idea of the inclusion evidence- based quality components into behaviour support plan formats to reduce the use of restrictive interventions, and they suggest their findings provide tentative support for this idea.

Factors influencing quality of behaviour support plans and the impact of plan quality on restrictive intervention use, Webber L et al, in International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support, 1, 1, 24-31

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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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