chaneys improving adherence to medication - developmental area



to investigate whether the new asthma device (funhaler) can provide positive rienforcement to improve adheranceof using inhalers in young asthmatics 

asthma = a respiratory condition marked by attacks of soasm in the bronchi of the lungs causing dfficulty breathing (caused by pollen, animals,smoke etc)

adherance = the act of doing what you have been asked to eg taking medication

operant conditioning = part of BEHAVIOURISM is psychology meaning learning from consequences of our behaviour using rewards and punishments the more you are rewarded foryour behaviour the more likely you are to repeat and the more punished you are the less likely you will repeat shaping our behaviour 

positive rienforcement = eg getting praise fom your parents for doing the dishes

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32 children from australia 

22 male 10 female all aged between 1 and a half to 6 years ( mean of 3.6 )

had an average duration of asthma for 2.2 years 

parents agve consent and completed questionnares & over the phone interviews 

recruited via opportunity sampling method as parents of the children were contacted by phone by their GP or paediatricion 

sampling method is quick easy and convienant way to gain participants 

sample may be biased, unrepresentative orhave issues with consent 

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1) after parents of asthmatic children were contacted a researcher visted their home where parents completed a consent form and a questionnare about their current inhaler looking at factors such as ease of use, compliance of parents,children and treatemet attitudes with the current device 

2) children were then given the funhaler for 2 weeks = an inhaler wich uses incentive toys like a spinner and whistle, ball etc which activate when the child exhales, the toy will not activate if the child does not breath deep enough and includes a facemask for the younger children. 

3) at various times throughout the two weeks parents were contacted and asked if they had used the funhaler the previous day 

4) after the 2 weeks parents were visted again and given another questionnare to compare the use of the funhaler to the standard device. 

data collection method = self report 

detailed and in depth 

less flexible ( questionnare ) as response rate cannot be changed 

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results and conclusions

chaney found that unwillingness to use the mask dropped from 58% to 3% 

childs (attitudes) pleasure of existing behaviour went from 10% compared to 68% using the funhaler 

10% of parents (attitudes) were completely happy with the existing inhaler increasing to 61% being completely happy 

the percentage of children who had used the device the day before went from 59% on standard inhaler to 81% with the funhaler

chaney concluded the funhaler improved adherance to medication, the funhaler may improve thw health of children however more research is reccomeneded 

incentives work, children are more likely to use it as it is rewarding to use (positive rienforcement)

parents were more likely to administer the medication as it was less stress to get the child to adhere to taking it. 

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research method, design, IV, DV, evaluation

method = feild experiment, included manipluation of IVs in an natural environment (ps home) 

more ecoligally valid but lack of control and difficult to replicate 

design = repeated measures due to ps completing both conditions ( standard device and funhaler ) 

no individual differences as each participant is comoared to themself ( less participant variables ) but order effects may come into place ps may get bored or guess the aim 

IV = 1, standard inhaler (small volume soacer device) 2, funhaler 

DV = measuring adherance to the perscribed medical regime 

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links to debates

individual/ situation explainations 

this study is clearly looking at the role of the situation in determining behaviour, it is the features in the inhaler that improve the adherance, you know this by using two different devices and ones results being significantly better than the other as the only thing changing is the type of inhaler it highlights the role of the situation on our behaviour. however, the differences in attitudes in the parents and children prior to and after the funhaler show how individual differences can influence behaviour. soe. children may of had a phobia of the funhaler and some may find pleasure in using it. 


it is useful as it helps us understand how children develop and aquire behaviours and how the principles of the behaviourist perspective can be used to facillitate this. secondly it is useful dueto the practical apllication to health settings (to improve adherance to medication) and alsoeducation and parenting. however several factors such as age range, the fact the study has not been replicated, onky conducted in one place and the limit to only one illness. for example would the funhaler work on teenagers? 

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links to areas and perspectives

falls within the DEVELOPMENTAL AREA (assumes behaviour is influenced by internal and external influences on our behaviour which effect our development eg role models) as it is illustrating the way children learn and how parents can help their children to aquire desired behaviours namely through pisitive and negative rienforcement. 

also falls within the BEHAVIOURISM perspective (assummes we are born blank slates, the situation is more imprtant than the individual when its comes to influence on behaviour, all behaviour is learnt from the environment and nurture is more important than nature eg operant and classicsl conditioning) as the research is firmly set as using operant conditioning as an explaination for behaviour. as it shows rewards encouraging behaviour to contue (the reward is the incentive toys inside funhaler and the enouraged behaviour is continueing to take the medication/ improving adherance) if the child s negativly rienforced somthing unpleasant willbe taken away eg feeling breathless will stop the more they use the funhaler rewarding the child physically for using the device encouraging to repeat to prevent unpleasent feeling from returning. 

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key theme and comparison between bandura and Chane

chaneys study links to the key theme of external influences on childrens behaviour as it is demonstrating how the external influences of the behaviourist perspective (operant conditioning) have a great impact of childrens behaviour.the funhaler increased adherance and improved the parents and childs attitudes towards the inhaler. 

changes our understanding of the key theme by proving another way in which children can learn. as bandura shows children can learn through imiation (social learning theory) and chaney shows they can learn through rienforcement.

bandura and chaney are similar because they both use young children as participants, both basing their research on the behaviourist principles of learning andboth using qauntitative data for analyses 

bandura and chaney are different because bandura used observation and chaney used self report data collection method, bandura used a controlled setting and chaney used a natural setting and banduras study was carried out in america and chaneys in australia 

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