Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #265
Comprehensive Assessment of Quality of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 129 B
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Discussant: Nancy Freeman (Surrey Place Centre)
Abstract: Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) is increasingly recognized as the most effective treatment intervention for children with autism. As a result, a proliferation of IBI programs has been witnessed world-wide. These programs endeavor to achieve outcomes equivalent to those described in the behavioural literature. However, although there is research linking treatment quantity to outcome, few attempts have been made to link characteristics of treatment quality to outcome. This gap makes it difficult to know which treatment characteristics are essential to producing best outcomes and even harder to know how these characteristics should be measured. Our research team at York University has developed two measures, based on an extensive review of the literature, existing IBI staff evaluation tools, data from a survey of clinicians and parents, and clinical experience. Together, these tools, the York System of Quality Assurance (YSQA) and the York Measure of Quality of IBI (YMQI) provide a comprehensive system for measuring the quality of IBI programs at various levels. This symposium will introduce participants to the YSQA and YMQI and describe the empirical and theoretical foundation of the YSQA and the psychometric properties of the YMQI.
Indicators of Quality Teaching in Intensive Behavioral Intervention: A Survey of Parents and Professionals.
HELEN E. FLANAGAN (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University), E. Alice Prichard (York University)
Abstract: Serious concerns have been expressed about the future of the field of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) if quality is not defined and measured. This presentation will address the need to evaluate quality when providing IBI programs. In addition, it will review our research team’s efforts to determine factors relevant to high quality teaching. We consulted a number of sources, such as training manuals published by expert clinicians, experimental research, and rating scales used by treatment providers to monitor staff performance. In addition, we carried out a survey of 52 professionals (11 clinical directors, 28 supervisors, and 13 others professionals knowledgeable about autism treatment) and 20 parents to obtain input about characteristics of quality teaching and how these characteristics should be measured. Results emphasized the importance of evaluating factors such as generalization, adopting appropriate behavior management strategies, and selecting reinforcers of the appropriate type. This research has informed the development of the York Measure of Quality of Intensive Behaviour Intervention and the York System of Quality Assurance.
The York Measure of Quality of Intensive Behavioural Intervention: A Valid and Reliable Measure of Quality
E. ALICE PRICHARD (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University), Helen E. Flanagan (York University)
Abstract: The YMQI is a rating scale that evaluates the quality of video-taped segments of IBI. It contains 30 items grouped into nine categories. Each item is rated on a Likert scale that ranges from 1 to 3. Measures of internal consistency, inter-rater reliability and criterion-related validity suggest that the YMQI is a psychometrically valid measure of overall IBI quality. In addition, combinations of items on the measure can be used to evaluate the following constructs: Organization, Pacing, Teaching Level, and Generalization. This presentation will introduce participants to the structure and content of the YMQI. In addition, the psychometric properties of the current version of the YMQI will be described. The YMQI may be useful in a range of research and clinical contexts. Clinical uses could include staff training, staff evaluation, goal setting for performance improvement, and program evaluation. In research studies, the YMQI could be used to compare different types of IBI in different settings, explore the degree to which quality of IBI predicts different outcomes, and determine active ingredients of intervention.
The York System of Quality Assurance: A Comprehensive Measure of Service Quality
JULIE L. KOUDYS (York University), Kate Sheese (York University), Adrienne M. Perry (York University)
Abstract: The YSQA is a comprehensive quality assurance system designed to assess service quality within IBI programs. Modules were designed to measure performance in different service areas, including quality of direct teaching, quality of curriculum programming, and administrative and organizational factors, such as supervision and training. Each module is designed to meet the following objectives: • establish empirically based standards of practice for the provision of high quality IBI • identify indicators of these standards (i.e., operationalize target behaviours and set performance criteria) • provide a comprehensive system which may be used to assess performance in relation to the standards • provide information which may be used to improve service delivery. This presentation will describe the theoretical framework and empirical foundations of the YSQA, describe the sources of information required in order to complete the YSQA (i.e., live observation, video observation, local data files such as binders, central clinical files and organizational/human resource files), review the YSQA checklists and describe the different ways the YSQA may be used (i.e., as a comprehensive measure of program quality, or as a means to assess performance within specific program areas).



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