Pica, a potentially life-threatening behavior problem exhibited among persons with mental retardation is sometimes addressed by methods such as application of restraints to reduce or eliminate associated risks (Rojahn, Schroeder, and Mulick, 1980). However, restraints may be associated with decreases in social interaction and negative impact on quality of life. We evaluated two methods (restraint vs. no restraint) for maintaining the safety of a client with pica on three dimensions: (a) level of pica, (b) therapist effort, and (c) impact on quality of life. Both methods prevented pica, however, the no restraint condition required less therapist effort and had less negative impact on quality of life. All three dimensions were included in a clinical decision-making model to determine the least restrictive, safe level of restraint for a 4-year-old girl while assessment and treatment procedures were conducted. The clinical utility of this multifactor decision- making model is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology