Overall, there is insufficient high-quality empirical evidence to suggest that PBS is effective at: enhancing quality of life, teaching adaptive skills, or reducing the use of restrictive practices.
The majority of the studies (73.33%) were assessed to be of ‘low’ quality based on a score of <50% on the QATSDD. Whilst there is some ‘high’ quality evidence to suggest that PBS is effective at improving challenging behaviour up to 6-months follow-up, there is little empirical basis to suggest that PBS is effective at improving challenging behaviour beyond this.
Here’s another study stating ABA/PBS has a weak evidence base. Their claims to be evidence-based are used to dismiss autistic people and the neurodiversity movement. That’s so frustrating, but at least we have this study in our advocacy toolbox now.
Previously on ABA/PBS:
- The Meaninglessness of “Evidence-based”
- Drop the B from PBS
- Interrogating Normal: Autism Social Skills Training at the Margins of a Social Fiction
- Behaviorist Ed-tech — Ed-tech from the 1940s
- Persuasion and Operant Conditioning: The Influence of B. F. Skinner in Big Tech and Ed-tech
- Lost In Translation: Ways in Which Neurodivergent and Neurotypical Social Languages Differ