The safety of functional analyses of self-injurious behavior

Sungwoo Kahng, Nicole L. Hausman, Alyssa B. Fisher, Jeanne M. Donaldson, Jessica R. Cox, Monica Lugo, Katie M. Wiskow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Functional analysis is the most precise method of identifying variables that maintain self-injurious behavior (SIB), and its use may lead to more effective treatment. One criticism and potential limitation of a functional analysis is that it may unnecessarily expose individuals to a higher risk of injury (Betz & Fisher, 2011). The purpose of this study was to determine if there were higher levels and severity of injury during the functional analysis than outside the functional analysis. We conducted a retrospective records review of 99 participants admitted to an inpatient unit for the treatment of SIB. The results showed that injury rates were relatively low across all situations and that when injuries occurred, they were usually not severe. These findings suggest that the functional analysis of SIB is relatively safe when appropriate precautions are taken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • functional analysis
  • injury
  • safety
  • self-injurious behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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