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Using positive behavioural support as a treatment for trauma symptoms with a man with intellectual disabilities

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Background: There is robust evidence that psychological therapies are an effective treatment for trauma-related symptoms, including post-traumatic stress disorder. However, there are relatively few studies involving people with intellectual disabilities, and no studies drawing on positive behavioural support as the mechanism for the delivery of treatment.

Method and materials: This study was a descriptive case report of a young man with intellectual disabilities who had a history of early trauma. His challenging behaviour was associated with demand avoidance. A positive behavioural support plan, incorporating psychological therapies and medication, was developed, implemented and is described.

Results: Over time, challenging behaviours reduced and were eventually extinguished. This was associated with an increase in engagement in a variety of activities and a reduction in trauma-related symptoms.

Discussion: Using positive behaviour support plans as the organisational framework for the adaptation and delivery of both psychological therapies and medication for complex cases is advantageous. Excellent team working is necessary to ensure that interventions are successful.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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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