Functional Analytic Psychotherapy for Nursing Home Residents: A Single-Subject Investigation of Session-by-Session Changes

Abstract

Nursing home settings contain unique environmental factors that may promote the acquisition and maintenance of problematic interpersonal behaviors. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) is a contextually-based behavior therapy that can be used to modify problematic interpersonal behaviors via carefully provided and contingent in-session responses of the therapist to client behaviors. Thus, FAP would appear to be a particularly well-suited intervention approach for nursing home residents. To date, the effects of FAP have not been reported for nursing home residents. The current single case study assessed the effects of FAP on three nursing home residents using a single-subject AB design. The AB design consisted of a 2-weeks baseline phase followed by a 4-week FAP treatment phase. The nursing home residents completed pre-treatment and post-treatment measures of interpersonal relating. Client interpersonal behaviors were also recorded during each session and coded into two categories: Maladaptive in-session behaviors and adaptive in-session behaviors. Using the reliable change index and Swanson’s dsw to evaluate questionnaire outcomes, results indicated that all three participants reported a significant change in interpersonal functioning. Analysis of in-session behavior indicated that there were significant decreases in maladaptive behaviors and an increase in adaptive behaviors for two clients. Finally, observed in-session behavior changes were congruent with self-reported changes in interpersonal behavior. These results indicate that FAP was an effective intervention for these nursing home residents.

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Correspondence to Sonia Singh.

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Singh, S., O’Brien, W.H. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy for Nursing Home Residents: A Single-Subject Investigation of Session-by-Session Changes. J Contemp Psychother 47, 173–180 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-016-9352-5

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Keywords

  • Functional analytic psychotherapy
  • Single-subject design
  • Nursing home residents