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