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Combining pharmacological and positive behavioural support strategies in the treatment of self-injury

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Background: Positive behaviour support is increasingly using multiple perspectives to identify functional relationships and to examine and validate approaches for producing behavioural change. This would include gene-brain-behaviour relationships with the implication that pharmacological strategies could be incorporated in positive behaviour support plans.

Method and materials: A single-case methodology was used to examine the effects adding Naltrexone to the positive behaviour support plan of a woman with severe intellectual disability who presents self-injurious behaviour. Efficacy of the medication was examined across three functional analytic analogue conditions using a multi-element reversal design utilising blind ratings.

Results: Differential responding was observed across experimental conditions with tentative evidence of a positive treatment effect specifically and exclusively in the automatic reinforcement condition. Conclusions: Implications for prescribing practice of Naltrexone and other medications and the identification of behavioural markers correlated with positive treatment responses are highlighted.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Positive behavioural support (PBS) combines the conceptual framework of applied behaviour analysis with the values base of social role valorisation and framework of person-centred approaches. The International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support is a peer-reviewed publication that aims to:

    · define and promote good practice in relation to the use of PBS

    · add to the evidence base regarding such interventions

    · demonstrate how PBS interventions can support people to change their challenging behaviours, improve their quality of life, and result in reductions in the use of restrictive procedures (such as physical intervention, seclusion and as required medication)

    · bridge the gap between academic research and service practice
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