Using Technology to Disseminate Behavior Analysis: Is It Possible?

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Need for Behavior Analysis Services Around the World

Nowadays, behavior analysis is highlighted because of its science-based methods, which achieve good results that prove its services’ quality. At the same time, the demand for this specialized service has grown up in a way which makes the number of behavior analysts still insufficient, mainly in countries outside of the United States where, most of the time, support for its services simply doesn’t exist or is insufficient. As an example, according to the most recent data from the Center of Disease Control, cases of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders rose in prevalence from 1 in 150 children in 2000, to 1 in 68 in 2010. While the United States has an average of 17,000 Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), countries outside of the US together have less than 1,500 BCBAs (data from the BCBA Registry). Since having a BCBA is required by service agencies in the US as a criterion to provide quality service, these data may be considered indicative of how many people we would need in order to serve all the people who need a specialized intervention.

While the United States has an average of 17,000 Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), countries outside of the US together have less than 1,500 BCBAs (data from the BCBA Registry).

When living in a country with no access to governmental support for public service, if you need an intervention based on ABA, it is not rare to need to appeal to private services, which are expensive and, therefore, inaccessible to a wider part of the worldwide population. According to Peters-Scheffer et al. (2012), Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), the most recommended way to teach individuals with developmental disabilities, may cost, in the Netherlands, an average of 2 million Euros from 3 to 65 years old, what annually would establish the need for 32 thousand Euros per year. When identifying the lack of specialized professionals and financial resources, some authors suggest providing this service in a secondary path, planning contingencies to teach professionals, paraprofessionals or caregivers (e.g. Symon, 2001; Fazzio, 2007), a great alternative solution to this problem.

With the support of technology, we may manage contingencies to best facilitate human development efficiently and effectively.

Service Delivery and Training Through Technology

A lot of current papers have been published considering technology as another viable way to achieve that purpose. With the support of technology, we may manage contingencies to best facilitate human development efficiently and effectively. The advancement of technology apparatus in recent years has opened new ways for building viable services in the field of human behavior in terms of financial and human resources and, at the same time, ensuring good-quality services. Technology, in this way, appears to be a good tool to support the dissemination of interventions based on behavior analysis as well the transmission of its results to both the professional and non-professional public.

In some specific situations, technology may support an in-person intervention or may be useful to create environments to achieve targeted goals. Some current examples are the use of video modeling (e.g. Catania et al, 2009; Nielsen, Sigurdsson & Austin, 2009), Computer-based Personalized System of Instruction (e.g. Pear et al, 2011; Reis, de Souza & de Rose, 2009) and Interactive Computer Training (e.g. Pollard et al., 2014). We can, for example, teach principles of behavior analysis (e.g. Granpeesheh et al., 2010) or how to manage behavior problems (e.g. DiGennaro-Reed et al., 2010). The training of some skills can be supported by technology; meanwhile, the behavior analyst is planning interventions, developing programs or even providing service for more people. In case of any exception (because of many other variables which we can’t control) we may provide more time with in-person teaching, but the studies mentioned above present promising results that may suggest viable ways to disseminate behavior analytic interventions for current behavior analysts anywhere in the world and with lower costs. More research still needs to be done to improve these technological tools, but we are moving forward.

More than last-generation machines…we need people motivated to provide the best intervention possible, through the most accessible ways, so we can …disseminate behavior analytic interventions …even to those people who don’t have the resources…

More than last-generation machines and people who need intervention, we need people motivated to provide the best intervention possible, through the most accessible ways, so we can manage the contingencies to disseminate behavior analytic interventions more widely, even to those people who don’t have the resources for that purpose.

References

Catania, C.N.; Almeida, D.; Lu-Constant, B.; Reed, D.D. (2009). Video modeling to train staff to implemente discrete-trial instruction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 387-392.

DiGennaro-Reed, F.D.; Codding, R.; Catania, C.N.; Maguire, H. Effects of video modeling on treatment integrity of behavioral interventions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 291-295.

Fazzio, D. (2007). Training Tutors and Parents to Implement Discrete-Trials Teaching with Children Diagnosed with Autism. PhD dissertation – Department of Psychology, University Of Manitoba.

Granspeesheh, D.; Tarbox, J.; Dixon, D.R.; Peters, C.A.; Thompson, K.; Kenzer, A. (2010). Evaluation of an eLearning tool for training behavioral therapists in academic knowledge of applied behavior analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 11-17.

Nielsen, D.; Sigurdsson, S.O.; Austin, J. Preventing back injuries in hospital settings: The effects of video modeling on safe patient lifting by nurses. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 551-561.

Pear, J.J.; Schnerch, G.J.; Silva, K.M.; Svenningsen, L.; Lambert, J. (2011). Web-based computer-aided personalized system of instruction. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 128, 85-94.

Peters-Scheffer, N.; Didden, R.; Korzilius, H.; Matson, J. (2012). Cost comparison of early intensive behavioral intervention and treatment as usual for children with autism spectrum disorder in the Netherlands. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1763-1772.

Pollard, J.S.; Higbee, T.S.; Akers, J.S.; Broadhead, M.T. (2014). An evaluation of interactive computer training to teach instructors to implement discrete trials with children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47, 765-776.

Reis, T.S.; de Souza, D.G.; de Rose, J.C.C. (2009). Avaliação de um programa para o ensino de leitura e escrita. Estudos em Avaliação Educacional, 20, 425-449.

Symon, J. B. (2005). Expanding Interventions for Children with Autism: Parent as Trainers. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7, 159-173.


Adriano A. Barboza is completing his Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis at the Federal University of Pará, in Brazil, where he also provides behavior analytic intervention to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (directly and through their caregivers). His current research evaluates the effects of instructional video-modeling to teach behavioral skills to children with ASD through their caregivers.


Utilizando Tecnologia Para Disseminar a Análise do Comportamento: Isso é Possível?

Necessidade de Serviços em Análise do Comportamento em Todo o Mundo

Hoje em dia, a Análise do Comportamento está em destaque devido a seus métodos baseados cientificamente, que atingem bons resultados que, por sua vez, comprovam a qualidade de seu serviço. Ao mesmo tempo, a demanda para este serviço especializado tem crescido de uma maneira que torna o número de analistas do comportamento ainda insuficiente, principalmente em países fora dos Estados Unidos onde, na maior parte das vezes, o apoio para tais serviços simplesmente não existe ou é insuficiente. Por exemplo, de acordo com os dados mais recentes do Center of Disease Control, os casos de crianças com Transtorno do Espectro Autista cresceram em prevalência de 1 em 150 crianças em 2000, para 1 em 68 crianças em 2010. Enquanto os Estados Unidos possuem uma média de 17.000 Analistas do Comportamento Certificados (BCBAs), os países fora dos EUA juntos possuem menos de 1.500 BCBAs (dados do Cadastro de BCBAs). Devido à exigência do BCBA pelas agências de serviço nos EUA como um critério para fornecimento de um serviço de qualidade, esses dados podem ser considerados indicativos de quantas pessoas nós precisaríamos para atender todas as pessoas que precisam de uma intervenção especializada.

Enquanto os Estados Unidos possuem uma média de 17.000 Analistas do Comportamento Certificados (BCBAs), os países fora dos EUA juntos tem menos de 1.500 BCBAs (dados do Cadastro de BCBAs).

Ao viver num país sem acesso ao apoio governamental para o serviço público, se você precisa de uma intervenção baseada em ABA, não é rara a necessidade de recorrer a serviços privados, que são caros e, portanto, inacessíveis a uma grande parte da população mundial. De acordo com Peters-Scheffer et al. (2012), a Intervenção Comportamental Intensiva e Precoce (EIBI), a maneira mais recomendada para ensinar indivíduos com atraso no desenvolvimento, pode custar, na Holanda, uma média de 2 milhões de Euros dos 3 aos 65 anos de idade, o que anualmente estabeleceria a necessidade de 32 mil Euros por ano. Ao identificar a falta de profissionais especializados e recursos financeiros, alguns autores sugerem fornecer este serviço num caminho secundário, planejando contingências para ensinar profissionais, paraprofissionais ou cuidadores (ex.: Symon, 2001Fazzio, 2007), uma ótima solução alternativa para este problema.

Com o suporte da tecnologia, podemos gerenciar contingências para melhor facilitar o desenvolvimento humano de forma eficiente e eficaz.

Prestação de Serviços e Treinamento Através da Tecnologia

Muitos trabalhos atuais tem sido publicados considerando tecnologia como um outro caminho viável para atingir tal propósito. Com o suporte da tecnologia, podemos gerenciar contingências para melhor facilitar o desenvolvimento humano de forma eficiente e eficaz. O avanço dos recursos tecnológicos nos últimos anos tem aberto novos caminhos para a construção de serviços viáveis no campo do comportamento humano em termos de recursos humanos e financeiros e, ao mesmo tempo, garantir serviços de boa qualidade. A tecnologia, desta maneira, parece ser uma boa ferramenta para apoiar a disseminação de intervenções baseadas na Análise do Comportamento bem como a transmissão de seus resultados tanto para o público profissional quanto para o público não-profissional.

Em algumas situações específicas, a tecnologia pode dar suporte a uma intervenção presencial ou pode ser útil para a criação de ambientes para atingir objetivos-alvo. Alguns exemplos atuais são o uso de videomodelação (ex.: Catania et al, 2009Nielsen, Sigurdsson & Austin, 2009), do Sistema Personalizado de Ensino Informatizado (ex.: Pear et al, 2011; Reis, de Souza & de Rose, 2009) e do Treino Interativo Informatizado (e.g. Pollard et al., 2014). Podemos, por exemplo, ensinar princípios da Análise do Comportamento (ex.: Granpeesheh et al., 2010) ou como gerenciar problemas de comportamento (ex.: DiGennaro-Reed et al., 2010). O ensino de algumas habilidades pode receber suporte tecnológico; enquanto isso, o analista do comportamento está planejando intervenções, desenvolvendo programas ou mesmo fornecendo serviços a mais pessoas. No caso de alguma exceção (devido a muitas outras variáveis sob as quais nós não temos controle) podemos fornecer mais tempo de ensino presencial, mas os estudos mencionados acima apresentam resultados promissores que podem sugerir maneiras viáveis de disseminar a intervenção analítico-comportamental para atuais analistas do comportamento em qualquer lugar no mundo e com custos mais baixos. É necessário realizar mais pesquisas para aperfeiçoar essas ferramentas tecnológicas, mas nós estamos avançando.

Mais do que máquinas de última geração… precisamos de pessoas motivadas a fornecer a melhor intervenção possível, através das maneiras mais acessíveis, para que possamos… disseminar as intervenções analítico-comportamentais… mesmo para aquelas pessoas que não possuem recursos…

Mais do que máquinas de última geração e pessoas que precisam de intervenção, precisamos de pessoas motivadas a fornecer a melhor intervenção possível, através das maneiras mais acessíveis, para que possamos gerenciar as contingências para disseminar as intervenções analítico-comportamentais num maior alcance, mesmo para aquelas pessoas que não possuem os recursos para tal propósito.

Referências

Catania, C.N.; Almeida, D.; Lu-Constant, B.; Reed, D.D. (2009). Video modeling to train staff to implemente discrete-trial instruction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 387-392.

DiGennaro-Reed, F.D.; Codding, R.; Catania, C.N.; Maguire, H. Effects of video modeling on treatment integrity of behavioral interventions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 291-295.

Fazzio, D. (2007). Training Tutors and Parents to Implement Discrete-Trials Teaching with Children Diagnosed with Autism. PhD dissertation – Department of Psychology, University Of Manitoba.

Granspeesheh, D.; Tarbox, J.; Dixon, D.R.; Peters, C.A.; Thompson, K.; Kenzer, A. (2010). Evaluation of an eLearning tool for training behavioral therapists in academic knowledge of applied behavior analysisResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 11-17.

Nielsen, D.; Sigurdsson, S.O.; Austin, J. Preventing back injuries in hospital settings: The effects of video modeling on safe patient lifting by nurses. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 551-561.

Pear, J.J.; Schnerch, G.J.; Silva, K.M.; Svenningsen, L.; Lambert, J. (2011). Web-based computer-aided personalized system of instruction. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 128, 85-94.

Peters-Scheffer, N.; Didden, R.; Korzilius, H.; Matson, J. (2012). Cost comparison of early intensive behavioral intervention and treatment as usual for children with autism spectrum disorder in the Netherlands. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1763-1772.

Pollard, J.S.; Higbee, T.S.; Akers, J.S.; Broadhead, M.T. (2014). An evaluation of interactive computer training to teach instructors to implement discrete trials with children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47, 765-776.

Reis, T.S.; de Souza, D.G.; de Rose, J.C.C. (2009). Avaliação de um programa para o ensino de leitura e escrita. Estudos em Avaliação Educacional, 20, 425-449.

Symon, J. B. (2005). Expanding Interventions for Children with Autism: Parent as Trainers. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7, 159-173.


Adriano A. Barboza está completando seu Mestrado em Análise do Comportamento na Universidade Federal do Pará, no Brasil, onde ele também fornece intervenção analítico-comportamental a crianças com Transtorno do Espectro Autista (diretamente e através de seus cuidadores). Sua atual pesquisa avalia os efeitos de videomodelação instrucional para ensinar habilidades comportamentais a crianças com TEA através de seus cuidadores.


4 comments

  1. I think it is a falacy to assume that 17,000 BCBA’ s must be the number needed just because that is how many we have. There are still many rural and small town areas with no direct access to ABA. I am being inundated with requests for supervision due to a low incidence of BCBA supervisors and I work 15 miles away from a major city and state university. If more BCBA’s are going to be trained to practice, more BCBA’s will be needed to supervise. More could step up to the plate to provide affordable supervision (instead of charging client fees that insurance would normally pay for if it was therapy – it’s not). I was very fortunate to find a supervisor who was willing and eager to provide my supervision at a very reasonable rate and I am paying it forward. All hands on deck are needed to increase our availability and family access. I am grateful for the work being to done to vet the use of technology like Skype through research, as this is the only way some of our ABA population will have access.

    Like

    1. Dear Stacy,
      I think I didn’t make myself clear.
      I never said that having a BCBA is the same thing as being a good behavior analyst (I can imagine you are one of these cases, based on the requests you receive). I just said that US agencies use this as A criterion (not the only one) to request this kind of service. As another example: I’m from Brazil and we have only 2 BCBAs, according to the registry, but I know a lot of people who don’t have a BCBA and deliver an excellent service. What I said is just that the number of BCBAs may give us an idea (it doesn’t mean the total amount) of how we need alternative ways (here I’m suggesting that we do it with the support of the technology) to disseminate the Behavior Analysis even when we can’t be present (like your example about supervision through Skype). So, I think we don’t disagree.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Sincerely,
      Adriano.

      Like

  2. I don’t even understand how I finished up here, however I assumed this put up was once great. I do not understand who you are but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you aren’t already. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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