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Effectiveness of the High Quality Communication Intervention on the social participation of people with visual and hearing disabilities

Presentatie (Engelstalig) van Saskia Damen tijdens het congres Vision 2014 in Melbourne.

The quality of the interpersonal communication of people with the combination of visual and hearing disabilities is often poor. As a result of their impairments in the use and perception of common communicative behaviors such as eye contact and facial expressions, there is a high prevalence of misunderstandings and a lack of personal togetherness and mutuality in their interaction with other people.

There is a need for effective interventions that help support the social partners of people with dual sensory disabilities, such as parents, teachers and professional caregivers to attune to their special communication needs.

In order to find an effective support method for the abovementioned social partners of people with dual sensory disabilities we carried out an effect study at Bartiméus in cooperation with the University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam, Royal Dutch Kentalis and Spermalie (Belgium). The study was funded by ZonMW/Inzicht and the Bartiméus Sonneheerdt foundation.

In our study an intervention program was developed, based on theories of the development of Intersubjectivity (Trevarthen, 1980; Stern, 1985) and the intervention model Contact (Damen, Kef, Worm & Schuengel, 2011; Janssen, Riksen-Walraven, & Van Dijk, 2003) to enhance the quality of the interpersonal communication of children and adults with a combination of visual and hearing disabilities. The High Quality Communication Intervention was implemented for 12 participants and 60 of their social partners in two phases, with video-feedback coaching as the main intervention ingredient.

In order to test the effectiveness of the intervention a coding scheme was used to observe aspects of the interpersonal communication of each participant. The comparison of the repeated measures in the baseline, intervention and follow-up conditions revealed medium to large effects on dyadic interaction, shared emotion, referential communication, meaning negotiation, shared meaning, declarative communication and the sharing of past experiences. These results show that the new intervention has the potential to increase the social participation of people with dual sensory disabilities. (sdamen@bartimeus.nl)

Alle presentaties van het congres Vision 2014