Single-system research designs are useful to social workers who want to know whether an intervention has been effective with a client, whether the client be an individual, a family, a group, an organization, or community. While there are many different models of single-subject designs, for the purposes of this assignment you are to use theABA design(see Ch. 6 in Royse et al), also known as the Interrupted Time-Series Design with Follow-up. In some instances, depending on the nature of the target problem and whether it is a client, you may have to use anAB designbecause it may be unethical to withdraw the intervention once it has started.
In this design, you must observe and record during three different periods: baseline (before any intervention has occurred) intervention follow-up (after intervention has ceased) The Instructor must approve all projects for this assignment before you begin.
For this assignment you should ask a family member, friend, colleague, or classmate to participate under condition of confidentiality.Clients may be used with your supervisors permission.No children can participate.Also, no participant should be used who is currently in therapy, on medication or has a medical condition, nor should you attempt to change or measure activities or dosages related to the medication. After the person agrees to participate, you are then to contract with the subject regarding a target problem that the client and/or significant others have indicated is undesirable and that the subject will commit to work on. Have the subject signed an Informed Consent Form, even if it is a relative or spouse.If a client, you must also have the signed consent of your agency supervisor.
Activities Choose the measurable problem (behavior, cognition, affect) that is targeted for change. Record your baseline data on a tally sheet for at least five days, that is, how many times a day during this period was the problem observed? Transfer the data from the tally sheet to a chart that specifies the exact time intervals (days) and exact frequency of the target problem (number of times observed that day). After baselining the problem, begin your intervention. Describe in detail what is entailed in the intervention, what did you do? What was the subject expected to do? What were incentives for performing the expected behaviors, e.g., penalties for undesirable behaviors, rewarding desired behavior, etc? Observe and record the frequency (or duration or intensity) of the target problem during the intervention period. The intervention should last the same number of days as the baseline period, but no less than five days. Terminate the intervention and record the frequency of the target problem for at least as long as the baseline period on the tally sheet and your chart. Write up your results in memo form and include the components listed below. The paper should no more than 4-5 pages and include 4-5 references, including Royce et al. Please use the following subheadings: Introduction: Brief description of the subject, the target problem, the intervention used, and the time frame. Intervention and rationale: Describe in detail the intervention and why it was chosen. Include a brief literature review that suggests, or seems to support, your intervention as an appropriate strategy to deal with the target problem. Indicate whether similar approaches have been tried and whether or not they were successful. Do the results vary by population, e.g., males, females, ethnic minorities? Results: Describe the results of the follow-up and refer the reader to your single-system chart. Point out any changes from baseline to intervention to follow-up. Discussion and Conclusion: Assess whether the intervention used was appropriate and effective. If so, would you use it again? If not, why was it not effective? What other approaches might be tried? With what client groups might it be effective? You will not be graded on whether the intervention was effective, rather on whether you are able to provide a sound rationale for the intervention based on empirical literature and whether you are able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach.
Deliverables Memo A reference list (following APA style) Single-system chart A copy of the signed Informed Consent Form. There is no need to scan the signed Informed Consent Form, just type in Signature on file or Electronic signature to indicate that you actually have the necessary signed form and can produce it if asked. Please submit all of the above inone Word document.
Video Instructions The video below provides additional instructions, guidance, and tips for your Single-System Evaluation Project. Launch External Tool
FAQs Regarding the SSE Paper Who should be asked to participate in your study? Preferably you should ask a family member, friend, colleague, or classmate. Clients may be used with your supervisors permission. No children can participate. Also, no participant should be used who is in therapy, on medication or has a medical condition, nor should you attempt to change or measure activities or dosages related to the medication.
How do I come up with a target problem?
You should not decide what the target problem is, rather you should ask the person who has agreed to participate in the single-system project what s/he is interested in working on. What kinds of target problems are acceptable? Any behavior, speech, thought, cognition that can be measured is acceptable. For example, increased exercise, decreased eating, swearing, drug, alcohol, tobacco use. Other examples include an increase in desirable behaviors such as participating in household chores, or a decrease in other behaviors such as excessive video gaming, cell phone use, or online shopping. What kinds of target problems are not acceptable? Weight reduction is not acceptable because the time frame is too short to show meaningful change. Medical conditions that require a doctors care such as ADHD, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and so forth. Does the Single-System Research Design project (SSRD) have to be successful? You will not graded on whether your single-system intervention is successful.You will be graded on whether you have included scholarly literature to support your intervention, whether you followed the protocol that you established, and whether you can discuss the pros and cons of using such an intervention, why it was or was not appropriate, and what you might have done differently. What kind of articles should be included in the Literature Review? Articles should be from peer-reviewed professional journals, not websites or Wikipedia. 7.Do I have to develop my own Informed Consent Form? You can modify the Informed Consent Form I uploaded or you can go to theIRB Consent Form Templates siteand find another sample form. You should use theInformed Consent Checklistin developing your consent form. 8.Where can I get more information about informed consent? More information can be found on theDHHS Informed Consent pageor on theRutgers Office of Research Regulatory Affairspage.
Additional Resources Two Single-System Evaluation Project sample papers are available for your review. To view sample paper 1, clickhere. To view sample paper 2, clickhere.
The grading rubric for the paper can also be found inCourse Essentials Rubrics
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