Review of Evidence-Based Approaches to Caregiver Training
Purpose of Review
Training caregivers on tasks related to quality of life for the individuals they support is important across service sectors. Moreover, trainees often rank quality training as highly acceptable. This review summarizes the current status of the caregiver training literature, while providing recommendations for future research initiatives.
Telecommunication and pyramidal training models represent advancements in caregiver trainings, and burgeoning evidence suggests that these approaches may effectively develop caregiver skill mastery. However, improved caregiver performance may not reliably coincide with client improvement.
Behavioral skills training is an evidence-based approach to establish mastery across a range of skills within the context of caregivers supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Research examining skill generalization and maintenance, and the relationship between caregiver skill mastery and client outcomes remains relatively understudied. Early evidence examining advancements in caregiver training is promising and may offset costs associated with standard training approaches.
KeywordsCaregiver training Behavioral skills training Intellectual and developmental disability
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 2.Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Professional and ethical compliance code for behavior analysts 2019. https://www.bacb.com/ethics/ethics-code/. Accessed 29 July 2019.
- 5.• Davis S, Thomson K, Connolly M. A component analysis of behavioral skills training with volunteers teaching motor skills to individuals with developmental disabilities. Behav Interv. In press. Recent research by the second author directly comparing didactic and BST approaches. Google Scholar
- 8.• Parsons MB, Reid DH. Training residential supervisors to provide feedback for maintaining staff teaching skills with people who have severe disabilities. J Appl Behav Anal. 1995;28:317–22. https://doi.org/10.1901/jaba.1995.28-317Early research thoroughly describing and applying BST approach in the context of supporting individuals with IDD.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 9.Miltenberger RG. Behavior modification: principles and procedures. Grove: Thomson/Wadsworth; 2008.Google Scholar
- 17.Hassan M, Simpson A, Danaher K, Haesen K, Makela T, Thomson K. An evaluation of behavioral skills training for teaching caregivers how to support social skills development in their child with autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2018;48(6):1957–70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3455-z.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 21.Cooper JO, Heron TE, Heward WL. Applied behavior analysis. Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall; 2007.Google Scholar
- 22.•• Brock ME, Cannella-Malone HI, Seaman RL, Andzik NR, Schaeferm JM, Pag EJ, et al. Findings across practitioner training studies in special education: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Except Child. 2017;84(1):7–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/0014402917698008Thorough review examining pertinent trends across the BST literature, including relationship between client outcomes and caregiver fidelity improvements. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 27.Kornacki LT, Ringdahl JE, Sjostrom A, Nuernberger JE. A component analysis of a behavioral skills training package used to teach conversation skills to young adults with autism spectrum and other developmental disorders. Res Autism Spectrum Dis. 2013;7:1370–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2013.07.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 31.• Van den Pol RA, Reid DH, Fuqua RW. Peer training of safety-related skills to institutional staff: benefits for trainers and trainees. J Appl Behav Anal. 1983;16(2):139–56. https://doi.org/10.1901/jaba.1983.16-139Early example of peer-to-peer training that included exploring how this approach may promote skill maintenance. CrossRefGoogle Scholar