Examining the impact of a city-wide intensive interaction staff training program for adults with profound and multiple learning disability: a mixed methods evaluation

Purpose: Intensive interaction is used to increase communication in people at a pre-verbal stage of communication development. The aim of the study was to evaluate a city-wide implementation of intensive interaction training to care staff by investigating how staff use intensive interaction with adults with profound and multiple learning disability, and their perceived impact of intensive interaction on these service users.

Method: In phase 1, a survey investigated the outcomes of intensive interaction training on the work practices of staff supporting people with profound and multiple learning disability. In phase 2, individual interviews were conducted with staff to further investigate these experiences and perceptions. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Almost all of the participants (96%) reported using intensive interaction at work with 76% wanting to use intensive interaction with more people. Factors preventing staff from using Intensive Interaction were highlighted. Three over-arching themes were identified from the interviews; the impact of Intensive Interaction; facilitating the implementation of Intensive Interaction and; the organizational support and barriers to the implementation of Intensive Interaction.

Conclusions: Training in intensive interaction at a city-wide level enables staff to develop their knowledge of the approach and to engage in intensive interaction to promote the social inclusion of adults with profound and multiple learning disability. The barriers preventing staff from engaging in Intensive Interaction with adults with profound and multiple learning disability should be addressed.Implications for Rehabilitation

Training care staff in intensive interaction promotes social inclusion for adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff are able to identify changes in the interactive and communicative behaviors of adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff perceive they are able to facilitate changes in the interactive and communicative behaviors of adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff need continued support and training to sustain their use of Intensive Interaction with adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Services need to reduce the barriers of staffing, management and organizational structure to enable care staff to sustain their use of Intensive Interaction for adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Training care staff in intensive interaction promotes social inclusion for adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff are able to identify changes in the interactive and communicative behaviors of adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff perceive they are able to facilitate changes in the interactive and communicative behaviors of adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Care staff need continued support and training to sustain their use of Intensive Interaction with adults with profound and multiple learning disability.

Services need to reduce the barriers of staffing, management and organizational structure to enable care staff to sustain their use of Intensive Interaction for adults with profound and multiple learning disability.