David Trembath, PhD
Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University
Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, La Trobe University
Many approaches are available for evaluating treatment outcomes for individuals with disability.
N1 (Single Case Experimental Designs) are just one option.
In deciding whether or not to use an N1 design, we need to ask ourselves:
- Do we want to describe behaviour?
- Do we want to demonstrate that our intervention led to changes in behaviour?
- If we want to demonstrate that our intervention led to changes in behaviour, we need an experimental design.
Questions to ask before attempting to use N1 designs:
- Will it be possible to specify a ‘target behaviour’?
- Will it be possible to specify an intervention?
- Will you be able to provide the intervention in a consistent manner over time?
- Will there be an opportunity for you, or someone else, to measure the behaviour on at least nine occasions?
- Are you willing to work in a way that will allow you to demonstrate intervention and generalisation effects, as opposed to simply describing behaviour changes over time?
- Are you willing to put in place strategies to ensure that you can accurately, reliably, and objectively report intervention outcomes?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all questions, you are ready to proceed. If you answered ‘no’ to any questions, a non-experimental approach may be more suitable this time.