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An integrated treatment approach to pica: A case report

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A descriptive and longitudinal study is presented detailing the development of an effective integrated approach to the treatment of pica. The subject was a mentally retarded male whose history of life-threatening pica resulted in 37 surgeries for the removal of foreign objects. Etiological explanations for the behavior are considered and their role in generating elements of treatment are described. Results indicated that pica was eliminated by: (a) directing the subject to engage in other behaviors, (b) encouraging developmental progress through environmental exploration and trusting relationships, and (c) analysis of and responsiveness to the subject's cues concerning the maladaptive behavior.

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Stanley, A.E., Glenn, K. An integrated treatment approach to pica: A case report. Journal of the Multihandicapped Person 2, 155–165 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01098952

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Key words

  • pica
  • mental retardation
  • developmental disability