Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 145–153 | Cite as

Ethical Considerations for Interdisciplinary Collaboration with Prescribing Professionals

  • Mindy K. Newhouse-Oisten
  • Kimberly M. Peck
  • Alissa A. Conway
  • Jessica E. Frieder
Discussion and Review Paper


Behavior analysts often work as part of an interdisciplinary team, and different team members may prescribe different interventions for a single client. One such intervention that is commonly encountered is a change in medication. Changes in medication regimens have the potential to alter behavior in a number of ways. As such, it is important for all team members to be aware of every intervention and to consider how different interventions may interact with each other. These facts make regular and clear communication among team members vital for treatment success. While working as part of an interdisciplinary team, behavior analysts must abide by their ethics code, which sometimes means advocating for their client with the rest of the team. This article will review some possible implications of medicinal interventions, potential ethical issues that can arise, and a case study from the authors’ experience. Finally, the authors propose a decision-making tree that can aid in determining the best course of action when a team member proposes an intervention in addition to, or concurrent with, interventions proposed by the behavior analyst.


Interdisciplinary treatment Ethical considerations Behavioral interventions Medications 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mindy K. Newhouse-Oisten
    • 1
  • Kimberly M. Peck
    • 1
  • Alissa A. Conway
    • 1
  • Jessica E. Frieder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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