The effect of technology assisted therapy for adults with intellectual and visual impairment suffering from separation anxiety and challenging behaviour
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a new intervention method, Technology Assisted Therapy for Separation Anxiety (TTSA), on the psychosocial functioning and quality of life of persons with intellectual and visual disability who experience separation anxiety and exhibit challenging behaviour. A pre-experimental within group design was used with randomised multiple baselines and staggered intervention start points. The data was collected at an institution in the Netherlands that provides long-term care and residence for persons with intellectual disability and visual impairment. Six participants took part in this study. This research was informed by Bowlby‟s attachment theory, which conceptualises the tendency of human beings to forge strong emotional bonds with others and explains how the disturbance of this bond might lead to various forms of emotional distress and personality disturbances. The interplay of separation anxiety and challenging behaviour with respect to the formation of attachment relationships provides the specific theoretical context in which this study is grounded. The results indicate that both the separation anxiety experienced and the challenging behaviour exhibited by the participants decreased significantly after the implementation of TTSA. Their psychosocial functioning and quality of life also increased significantly. This study demonstrates the first successful application of TTSA to treat separation anxiety and challenging behaviour in persons with intellectual and visual disability. TTSA therefore has the potential to be a valid intervention to address these disorders.
- Humanities