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K19 Enabling staff to manage challenging behaviour using a positive behaviour support approach; a study of the impact of a six week on-ward program
  1. Andrea Higgins1,2,
  2. Jennifer Hoblyn1,3
  1. 1Bloomfield Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin, Ireland


Challenging behaviour can be a common feature of Huntington’s disease (HD); however the presenting behaviours and their root causes can differ widely from patient to patient. A positive behaviour support approach is used to manage these behaviours in a long-term inpatient setting, however the commitment of ward staff to the application of this approach is integral to any possibility of success. The current study focuses on the attitudes, understanding and knowledge of a staff group (Nursing and Healthcare Assistants) working on a specialist HD unit. The impact of prior training in the Positive Behaviour Support model and a subsequent six week program of weekly hour-long Positive Behaviour Support sessions held on the ward was assessed using pre and post program questionnaires. Adherence to agreed behaviour support plan interventions was assessed using on-ward observation. The impact of the program on patient behaviour and mood was also assessed using behavioural measures of patient behaviour (ABC charts) and quality of life, mood and anxiety measures of patients both pre and post program. Results are discussed in the context of staff educational and support needs and the ongoing nature of same and the impact of same on patient’s behaviour, mood and quality of life.

  • Challenging Behaviour
  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Staff

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