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Research Article  |   August 1987
Behavioral Treatment of Attention Deficits in Mentally Impaired Subjects
Author Affiliations
  • Paul W. Burgess, at the time of this study, was a Research Psychologist at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton, United Kingdom. He is now at National Hospital, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom
  • Stuart Mitchelmore, DipCOT, is a Senior Occupational Therapist at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton, United Kingdom
  • Gordon M. Giles, DipCOT, is a Senior Occupational Therapist at the Bay Area Head Injury Recovery Center, Berkeley, California
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Features
Research Article   |   August 1987
Behavioral Treatment of Attention Deficits in Mentally Impaired Subjects
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1987, Vol. 41, 505-509. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.8.505
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1987, Vol. 41, 505-509. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.8.505
Abstract

This paper describes an operant approach to the remediation of the behavioral aspects of attention deficits in three mentally impaired subjects. Two of the subjects also displayed severe atypical psychiatric disorders. Contingent reinforcement within an ABAC experimental design was used to increase levels of attending behavior. The efficacy of this approach within a group setting was demonstrated. Results suggest that some forms of additional deficit may be treated behaviorally despite differing etiologies of the cognitive deficit. The implications for occupational therapy are discussed within the context of the design of the ward program.