Promoting Acceptance of Efficacious Behavior Analysis Interventions by Clinical Communities: The Example of CI Therapy

Academic Article


  • There is a built-in reluctance in clinical fields to accept or endorse for administration a new intervention, even when demonstrations of clinical efficacy have been carried out that conform to the conventional standards of proof that have developed in those clinical fields. This resistance to new approaches, such as those based on behavior analysis principles, is greatly strengthened when the evidence for efficacy is generated by studies with experimental designs that diverge from those that have been employed before and that are conventionally viewed as acceptable in a clinical field. Constraint-Induced (CI therapy) is a family of neurorehabilitation treatments based on the use of behavior analysis techniques for the rehabilitation of functional deficits produced by damage to the central nervous system. Notwithstanding the fact that there are a large number of studies demonstrating the efficacy of CI therapy, many using conventional designs and measures, clinical acceptance of these treatments has been slow over the past 20 years, and it is by no means universal at present. In the last few years, though, acceptance has been accelerating. Thus, the example of CI therapy may hold some lessons that may be of use for other clinical applications of behavior analysis principles. The organizers of the conference at which this paper was presented requested that I discuss some of these considerations. Other relevant issues are addressed in a recent videotaped interview (Iversen, 2013; current issue).
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  • Taub E
  • Start Page

  • 127
  • End Page

  • 139
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1