This small scale study set out to carry out an initial exploration of the measurement of therapy expectancy in adults with learning disabilities through the therapy expectation measure (TEAM).
The authors combined a top-down theory-driven and bottom-up data-driven process in the initial development phase, where they identified TEAM items and format, followed by correlational analyses to evaluate reliability and validity.
They then worked with six adults with learning disabilities who took part in semi-structured interviews about therapy expectancy and motivation to identify TEAM items. They then worked with 22 additional participants to pilot the measure for initial psychometric evaluation.
They found from the preliminary psychometric evaluation that the TEAM had acceptable test–retest reliability and internal consistency. They found that client expectations of therapy were largely positive and congruent with therapy as a goal-oriented process in which they would be an active participant. They did find however, that a number of individuals were unclear about why they had been referred for therapy and that these people felt low levels of involvement in the process. Interestingly, the perceptions of client and carer in relation to their understanding of the referral were significantly different.
The authors conclude that from this initial exploration that the TEAM may help clinicians to identify barriers to engagement in therapy and may help to find ways of enhancing the therapeutic experience of adults with learning disabilities.
They recommend additional psychometric evaluation of the TEAM with larger samples to enhance its usefulness in the clinical setting.
Therapy Expectations: Preliminary Exploration and Measurement in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Kilbane, A. L. & Jahoda, A., in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24: 528–542