Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Therapist Self-Efficacy and Practice Behaviors: Evidence-Based Intervention for Families of Children With Autism

Saturday, November 18
3:45 PM - 5:15 PM
Location: Aqua Salon A & B, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Evidence-Based Practice | Community-Based Assessment / Intervention | Autism Spectrum Disorders
Presentation Type: Symposium

Therapist attitudes are an important factor in the implementation of psychosocial interventions; however, little is known about the impact of therapists’ perceptions of their knowledge (how well they know an intervention) and confidence (how confident they feel using an intervention) on delivery of evidence-based interventions (EBI). The current study examines the associations between therapists’ pre-training perceptions of their knowledge and confidence in EBI for children with autism and subsequent observed delivery of an ASD intervention following intensive training.   


Data were drawn from an effectiveness trial of AIM HI (“An Individualized Mental Health Intervention for ASD;” Brookman-Frazee & Drahota, 2010) an intervention designed for children with ASD served in mental health programs. Participants include 138 therapists (85% female; 41% MFT) delivering AIM HI to a child/caregiver dyad on their caseload. Prior to training and intervention delivery, therapists rated their knowledge of AIM HI intervention strategies and their confidence in their ability to implement these strategies. Recorded sessions were  coded to assess therapist delivery of intervention strategies, including use of structure/materials and active teaching strategies (modeling, behavioral rehearsal, in session practice with feedback, and assignment and review of homework) to teach skills to caregivers and children. Interrater reliability for codes was high (.76-.85). Associations between therapist pre-training perceptions and delivery of AIM HI strategies were examined using mixed models with therapists nested in program site.


Results indicate that therapist self-reported knowledge of AIM HI intervention elements was not significantly associated with observed strategy delivery. Higher therapist self-reported confidence was associated with greater use of active teaching strategies directed to both caregivers (F=4.25; p<.05) and children (F=5.54, p<.05).


Results indicate that therapists’ self-efficacy regarding specific strategies was associated with subsequent delivery of strategies. Implications include individualizing therapists training based on initial perceptions of their practice.

Colby Chlebowski

University of California, San Diego

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