Assessing Challenging Behaviour in People with Hearing Impairments and Profound Intellectual Disabilities: The Development of an Individual Behaviour Observation and Recording Scale

Meindert Buskermolen, Joop Hoekman, Albert Pierre Aldenkamp

Abstract


Background and Objective: Studies on people with both Hearing Impairments (HI) and an Intellectual Disability (ID) are rare, although in clinical practice aggressive incidents such as destructive behaviour aimed at objects or other people and self-harming behaviour are mentioned as common problems. In studies into people of both groups of people seperately prevalence rates of behavioural problems vary widely and many risk factors for developing behavioural problems are mentioned. Although recognizing risk factors can contribute to the understanding of behavioural problems, empirical research is needed into relations between behaviour and several external factors to gain more insight into direct causes of behavioural problems. The aim of this article is to detect a scale with which behaviour of individuals with both ID and HI can be observed and recorded in order to study relationships between behaviour and several external factors. Six conditions for such a scale are defined. 

Results: Regrettably, none of the scales we studied meets all our conditions and are therefore not suitable for our study. Because of this shortage we developed our own Individual Behaviour Observation and Rating Scale (IBORS) which is based on eight dimensions of behaviour and five levels of severity which results in a unique behavioural repertoire of each individual person. 

Conclusions: Although we succeeded in the construction of a scale which meets our conditions, some remarks can be made. The construction of an individual behaviour repertoire is an extensive process in which several familiar people should be involved. Secondly, the classification of eight dimensions of behaviour was not based on a scientific theory or construct. It is recommended to do further research on these topics and especially on the psychometric properties of IBORS.

 

 Background and Objective: Studies on people with both Hearing Impairments (HI) and an Intellectual Disability (ID) are rare, although in clinical practice aggressive incidents such as destructive behaviour aimed at objects or other people and self-harming behaviour are mentioned as common problems. In studies into people of both groups of people seperately prevalence rates of behavioural problems vary widely and many risk factors for developing behavioural problems are mentioned. Although recognizing risk factors can contribute to the understanding of behavioural problems, empirical research is needed into relations between behaviour and several external factors to gain more insight into direct causes of behavioural problems. The aim of this article is to detect a scale with which behaviour of individuals with both ID and HI can be observed and recorded in order to study relationships between behaviour and several external factors. Six conditions for such a scale are defined. 

Results: Regrettably, none of the scales we studied meets all our conditions and are therefore not suitable for our study. Because of this shortage we developed our own Individual Behaviour Observation and Rating Scale (IBORS) which is based on eight dimensions of behaviour and five levels of severity which results in a unique behavioural repertoire of each individual person. 

Conclusions: Although we succeeded in the construction of a scale which meets our conditions, some remarks can be made. The construction of an individual behaviour repertoire is an extensive process in which several familiar people should be involved. Secondly, the classification of eight dimensions of behaviour was not based on a scientific theory or construct. It is recommended to do further research on these topics and especially on the psychometric properties of IBORS.


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