Identifying person preference in individuals with a profound learning disability and high support needs

McBride, Kathryn

Psychology; Clinical psychology
July 2003

Thesis or dissertation

© 2003 Kathryn McBride. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This research attempts to answer the demands from previous literature to extend the use of systematic preference testing, and to enable people to make choices by enhancing the modes of communication of preference. It looks at the viability of systematic preference testing, embedded observations of preference, and the use of staff opinion to predict the person preference of people with a profound learning disability and high support needs. The data collected from 17 adults with a profound learning disability and high support needs was analysed using the city block metric to permit informal statements about the trends within the data. More formal statistical testing was invalid due to difficulties during the data collection phase. The results suggest that the use of systematic preference testing without previous training has limited application within this population. There is a tentative suggestion that embedded preference observations may be more widely accessible for this population. However, there is not a measurement of embedded observations validity within this study. Also, the accuracy of staff opinion of preference seemed to depend on the relationship between the participant and the staff member. Caution is advised in generalising the results of this study due to the difficulties in recruiting staff to be involved.

Department of Clinical Psychology, The University of Hull
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