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Increasing day service staff capacity to facilitate positive relationships with people with severe intellectual disability: Evaluation of a new intervention using multiple baseline design

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Background: The social relationships model was developed to describe positive relationships between support staff and people with intellectual disability. We evaluated an educational intervention based on this model. Method: Eighteen staff supporting 5 adult service users with severe or profound intellectual disability from 3 day services received the intervention. Mixed methods were used. A multiple baseline design determined changes in relationship processes between staff and service users following intervention. Descriptive field notes and staff interviews provided qualitative data. Results: Positive changes in relationship processes were found, but the results were variable. Of note was a high effect for 1 service user, a minimal effect for 2, and no effect for 2 service users. Field notes revealed contributors to variable results, and interview data highlighted changes not captured by quantitative measures. Conclusions: An educational intervention based on the social relationship model shows promise as a means to enhance staff relationships with people with intellectual disability.


Publication Date



Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability






12p. (p. 391-402)


Taylor & Francis



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© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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