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Solution focused Support for People with Intellectual Disabilities: Experiences of Learning Caregivers

Forstreuter, Benjamin (2013) Solution focused Support for People with Intellectual Disabilities: Experiences of Learning Caregivers.

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Abstract:Introduction: Solution focused support (SFS) is a positivist approach that involves emphasizing clients’ self-efficacy, competences and resources to accomplish personal solutions, as opposed to focusing on problems and its antecedents. The solution focused model is regarded as widely applicable and one field of application is the sustained care in assisted living for people with intellectual deficiencies (ID). While results of research regarding the usefulness of the model with this population are promising, there have not been many studies conducted on the process of learning to employ solution focused practice in this context. There may be aspects of the approach that are more difficult to apply successfully and circumstances in which learning caregivers may find it problematic to use SFS. Identifying these factors is relevant in order to ensure optimal training in SFS and to adjust the practice of care to fit the recipients. Addressing these issues, this study had two major objectives: firstly, to find out which aspects of SFS are more often deployed in client-interactions in which SFS is applied successfully. And secondly, to identify factors that are perceived as impeding the application of SFS. Methods: 164 caregiver experiences were analyzed for the frequencies of techniques used in interactions with clients, which were subsequently related to the perceived success of respective situations. This was done by labeling used techniques and aspects of SFS, based on the theory of SFS and by employing a bottom-up approach, and relating these to caregivers’ perception of success of interactions with clients by creating multiple response sets in SPSS and computing cross tabulations. Furthermore, caregiver experiences were scrutinized for factors that caregivers had perceived to obstruct the application of solution focused methods. Results: Caregivers were, for the most part, able to use the solution focused model successfully in caring for people with ID. However, there were some aspects of SFS that were more often employed than others, and some were very rarely utilized. Furthermore, in some instances caregivers found the solution focused approach not applicable, for instance when clients did not respond to it right away, when there was a conflict present or when caregivers were short on time. Caregivers then tended to opt for an alternative, non-solution focused approach. Conclusion: The results of this study supplement the notion that the solution focused approach is fitting for caring for people with ID. Also it showed that caregivers, who are relatively new to SFS, are quite able to use its methods effectively. However, the training of caregivers on some less frequently employed aspects of the model may have to be revised as well as on how to apply the approach to situations, which caregivers perceive as difficult.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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