Authors: van der Meer L, Matthews T, Ogilvie E, Berry A, Waddington H, Balandin S, O'Reilly MF, Lancioni G, Sigafoos J
Title: Training Direct-Care Staff to Provide Communication Intervention to Adults With Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2017 26(4): 1279-1295
Year: 2017
Research Design: Systematic Review

Purpose: The aim of this review was to summarize and evaluate studies on training direct-care staff to provide communication intervention to adults with intellectual disability. Method: Systematic searches identified 22 studies. These were summarized and evaluated in terms of (a) participants; (b) settings; (c) training aims and procedures; (d) research designs; (e) reliability, integrity, and social validity; (f) outcomes; (g) generalization and follow-up; and (h) certainty of evidence. Results: A total of 437 staff and 254+ adults with intellectual disability participated. Staff training most frequently involved combinations of verbal instruction, role play, modeling, practice, and feedback. Reliability was assessed in 18 studies with acceptable standards for most of these studies. Treatment integrity and social validity were assessed in 1 and 3 studies, respectively, with positive outcomes. Generalization and maintenance were assessed in 5 and 8 studies, respectively, with predominantly positive outcomes. Most studies reported positive outcomes for staff and positive or mixed outcomes for the adults with intellectual disability. Certainty of evidence was rated as conclusive in 1 study, suggestive in 14 studies, and inconclusive in 7 studies. Conclusions: There is sufficient evidence to conclude that direct-care staff can be taught to provide effective communication intervention to adults with intellectual disability. Professionals involved in providing training and support to direct-care staff could expect positive outcomes from multicomponent training programs that include opportunities for practice and feedback.

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