Michael F. Cataldo, Cindee A. Bessman, Lynn H. Parker, Joyce E.Reid Pearson, Mark C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Two studies were conducted to analyze behaviors of staff and patients on a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). In the first study, behavioral observation procedures were employed to assess patient state, physical position, affect, verbal behaviors, visual attention and activity engagement, and staff verbal behavior. On the average, one‐third of the patients were judged to be conscious and alert but markedly nonengaged with their environment. In the second study, a member of the hospital staff provided alert patients with individual activities to determine whether a simple environmental manipulation could positively affect behavior of children in intensive care. Employing a reversal design, the activity intervention was found to increase attention and engagement and positive affect, and to decrease inappropriate behavior. Both studies demonstrate that behavioral assessment procedures can provide an empirical basis for designing PICU routines affecting children's psychosocial status, and, thus, complement current procedures designed to provide quality medical care. 1979 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-97
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1979


  • activity interventions
  • assessment
  • behavioral pediatrics
  • children
  • intensive care units

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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