Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Behavior Analysis and Therapy


Baker, Jonathan C.


The use of atypical anti-psychotic medications has been increasing in nursing homes, even though the adverse effects of such medications in patients with dementia have been widely reported. Additionally, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 mandates the use of behavioral interventions before any medications are used in order to reduce challenging behaviors in demented patients. It has been empirically demonstrated that function-based behavioral interventions are effective in reducing challenging behaviors in older adults with dementia. Behavioral interventions are safe, noninvasive, and usually positive alternatives for physical or medical restraints. However, local staff's intervention implementation is typically not maintained after staff trainings: behavioral intervention programs usually do not survive after behavior analysts leave the setting. Miller (2004) suggests strategies to promote program survival. This paper will summarize these suggestions, review the literature since Miller, and will discuss implications for future research on the ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies.