Parent Treatment Integrity Across Multiple Components of a Behavioural Intervention
Children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often present with challenging behaviours such as aggression, extreme tantrums, non-compliance, or self-injury, which are associated with increased family stress. Behaviour analytic interventions are considered evidence-based practice for decreasing these challenging behaviours; however, most effective, multi-component interventions are implemented in-clinic by trained professionals, and treatment effects do not automatically generalize to the home. The literature is lacking on parent-implemented multi-component interventions in the home environment, and little research has reported on the levels of treatment integrity with which such interventions are implemented. Treatment integrity is crucial to both intervention outcomes, as well as confidence in the validity of the results. As such, it is important to select effective training procedures that may enhance treatment integrity, such as behavioural skills training (BST). BST is an evidence-based training procedure that is widely used in behaviour analysis to train complex skills. The present study sought to determine whether BST can be successfully used to train a parent of a six-year old child with ASD to implement a multi-component intervention in the home environment, while carefully monitoring treatment integrity levels for each treatment component, as well as impact on child behaviour. Results support the use of BST for this purpose, and implications for future research are discussed.