The efficacy of noncontingent escape for decreasing children's disruptive behavior during restorative dental treatment

Patrick M. O'Callaghan, Keith D Allen, Shawn Powell, Fouad Salama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated the effectiveness of a dentist-implemented behavioral intervention in which brief escape from dental treatment was provided on a regular basis, independent of the child's behavior. Within a multiple baseline design across subjects, 5 children, ages 4 to 7 years, were provided with temporary escape from dental treatment on a fixed-time schedule. The intervals were signaled by an electronic timer worn by the dentist. Clinically significant reductions were observed in physically disruptive behavior across all 5 children with the introduction of noncontingent escape, and verbally disruptive behavior was markedly reduced in 4 of the 5 children. In addition, the dental staff's use of physical restraint was reduced to near zero across all 5 children. The research extends the literature in both clinical dentistry and in applied behavior analysis by demonstrating that a dentist can easily and effectively implement noncontingent reinforcement to produce clinically significant and socially important changes in children's health behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

Fingerprint

dental treatment
Child Behavior
Tooth
Dentists
dentist
Dental Staff
Physical Restraint
Health Behavior
Therapeutics
Dentistry
behavior analysis
Appointments and Schedules
dentistry
health behavior
reinforcement
Problem Behavior
Efficacy
Research
electronics
staff

Keywords

  • Dental visits
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Escape
  • Noncontingent reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy

Cite this

The efficacy of noncontingent escape for decreasing children's disruptive behavior during restorative dental treatment. / O'Callaghan, Patrick M.; Allen, Keith D; Powell, Shawn; Salama, Fouad.

In: Journal of applied behavior analysis, Vol. 39, No. 2, 01.06.2006, p. 161-171.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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