An evaluation of the effectiveness of positive behavioural support within a medium secure mental health forensic service – 2018

A number of recent influential reports recommend the use of proactive and preventative approaches such as Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) in the management of challenging behaviours. Although evidence supporting the use of PBS is mainly drawn from studies of learning disability and child populations, it is recognised that PBS could have a much wider utility. In this study, PBS was implemented in a medium secure forensic mental health service, a novel context. Impact was evaluated using an adapted version of the Checklist of Challenging Behaviour at baseline and then at 3 monthly intervals for a year. Significant reductions were observed in aggression frequency, management difficulty and severity and other challenging behaviour frequency and management difficulty. Reductions in challenging behaviour were still evident after six months for the full group and twelve months for the sub-group with the exception of other challenging behaviour management difficulty. In contrast, no such significant differences were found for a control group. This study indicated that PBS was an effective intervention in the management of challenging behaviour in this forensic mental health context.

Bronwen E. Davies, Kathy Lowe, Sara Morgan, Hannah John-Evans & Julie Fitoussi
The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 05 Apr 2018