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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W82
CE Offered: PSY/BACB — 
Risk-Benefit Analysis of Treatments for Severe Problem Behaviors
Friday, May 22, 2020
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
To Be Determined
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Nathan Blenkush, Ph.D.
NATHAN BLENKUSH (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center), JASON CODERRE (Judge Rotenberg Center), DYLAN PALMER (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center and Simmons University), JOSEPH TACOSIK (Judge Rotenberg Education Center)
Description: Behavior analysts are often part of multidisciplinary teams that treat patients with severe problem behaviors that are refractory to typical interventions. Professionals within and between disciplines do not always agree on the most appropriate treatment approach for a given person. However, there is general agreement that those providing treatment should provide the most effective and least restrictive interventions available. Unfortunately, risk perception and bias sometimes influence decision making to the detriment of the person receiving treatment. Here, we review decision analysis tools that may help inform decisions made by behavior analysts and interdisciplinary teams when treating severe problem behaviors. We review ethical, legal, and regulatory policies that must be considered in relation to treating people with severe problem behaviors.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will be able to describe the elements of at least two decision analysis tools associated with treatment selection. 2. Participants will identify at least three potential fallacies or biases associated with risk and clinical decision making. 3. Participants will evaluate at least two treatments using a risk benefit approach.
Activities: The format combines lecture, application of decision analysis, and group discussion.
Audience: Behavior analysts, psychologists, and other professionals who are often confronted with people who emit severe problem behaviors refractory to typical interventions.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Decision analysis, Risk Perception, Treatment evaluation



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