Support Staff-client Interactions With Augmentative and Alternative Communication

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven Identifier:
First received: March 24, 2014
Last updated: April 13, 2015
Last verified: March 2014
This exploratory and observational study focuses on adults with an intellectual disability (ID) and their support workers. Two groups of clients are observed: clients using Key Word Signing, and clients using aided Augmentative and Altenrative Communication (AAC). Approximately half of adults with ID is estimated to experience communication difficulties. AAC supports them in their daily communication aiming at optimal participation in society. Current communication models, such as Participation Model (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005) and International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (WHO, 2001), regard both client-related and environmental factors as important elements of communication. A substantial part of the environmental factors is made up of the communication partners' characteristics. In daycare and residential services for adults with ID the support worker is an important communication partner .

Intellectual Disability

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Support Staff's Interactions With Adults With Intellectual Disability Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Communicative functions in interaction between support worker and AAC-using client with intellectual disability [ Time Frame: One-time measurement ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Characteristics of direct care staff working in residential facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities [ Time Frame: One-time ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: January 2015
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: February 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
support workers & AAC users
Support workers who use KeyWordSigning in the communication with their client who has an intellectual disability
support workers & KWS users
Support workers who use aided AAC in the communication with their client who has an intellectual disability

Detailed Description:

This study aims to:

  1. with regard to teaching Key Word Signing (KWS), a specific form of AAC, to support workers:

    Analyse the relation between training method, support workers' attitude, and short and long term sign knowledge.

  2. with regard to the use of AAC in everyday communication between support workers and adults with ID:

    • Identity the support workers' characteristics that may influence the quality/quantity of the communication between adults with ID who use AAC and their support worker.
    • Analyse the nature of this influence as well as any possible interaction effects with the clients' characteristics.
  3. Assess whether an existing instrument, designed for measuring interactions between parents and children with cerebral palsy using AAC, may be used with adults client and support workers.

Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Support workers who work in residential facilities or day-centres for adults with intellectual disability, in Flanders.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • uses AAC with client
  • client has congenital intellectual disability
  • supports client for at least 6 months

Exclusion Criteria:

  • client has dementia symptoms
  • client has severe, non-corrected visual impairment
  • client has diagnosed autism
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT02099773

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium, 3000
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium, 3000
Flanders, Belgium
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven
Principal Investigator: Ellen Rombouts, PhD cand. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven Identifier: NCT02099773     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: S56517
Study First Received: March 24, 2014
Last Updated: April 13, 2015
Health Authority: Belgium: Ethics Committee

Keywords provided by Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven:
support worker
direct care staff
intellectual disability
learning disability

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Intellectual Disability
Mental Disorders
Mental Disorders Diagnosed in Childhood
Nervous System Diseases
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on November 24, 2015