Barriers and facilitators to practitioners’ implementation of positive behavior support practice in social care organizations in Ireland

Cayleigh Dunworth

Dearbhaile Mahon

Jenny McSharry – University of Galway

Dr. Jennifer Holloway – ASK- All Special Kids Centre


In Ireland, the provision of behavior support services has developed following the introduction of Health Information and Quality Authority (2013) standards and the regulation of Positive Behavior Support (PBS) under the Health Act (2007). The purpose of this study was to explore what factors facilitate and act as barriers to implementation of behavioral recommendations in Intellectual Disability organizations from the practitioner’s perspective. Twelve interviews were carried out, audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) Thematic Analysis. One superordinate theme (administrator support), four themes (values, resources, relationships and implementation of consequences) and five sub-themes (staff turnover and burnout, training and knowledge, time and physical contact, relationships between practitioners and staff and staff and service users) were identified, all interconnected in the implementation process. A common thread reflected throughout the themes, was the practitioner’s acknowledgment of barriers overpowering facilitation which resulted in a less than optimum implementation of PBS.

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