Behavioral Interventions

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Volume 9 Issue 1 (January 1994), Pages fmi-fmi, 1-73

Setting up inpatient behavioral treatment programs: The staff needs assessment (pages 1-12)


Despite the success that behavior therapy has demonstrated in treating severely mentally ill adults, widespread impact of behavioral treatments on this population has been limited because the staff of many inpatient settings do not routinely utilize these strategies. Surveying staff regarding their perception of programatic and organizational needs is proposed as a valuable first step for selecting behavioral strategies to be introduced in these settings. Goldfried and D'Zurilla (1969) developed a behavioral assessment survey that is especially useful for identifying staff needs vis‐à‐vis behavioral rehabilitation. Using these strategies, survey questions addressed five problem areas: Administrative, Staff, Patient, Resource, and Programatic. Results using this survey with 40 clinicians on the extended care unit of a state hospital showed that staff members had greatest concern with the Patient Problem Area (i.e., aversive patient behaviors that are not sufficiently addressed by treatment plans). Further analyses showed staff members were interested in addressing Patient concerns using incentive procedures. The needs assessment in this study not only provided useful information that might be generalized to other treatment settings, but also showcased a reliable survey approach that program developers might implement prior to designing training curricula for behaviorally naive staff in inpatient settings.

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