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An Evaluation of Ethnicity-Matching for Caregiver Telehealth Training in India.

Telehealth has become an increasingly viable service delivery option for function-based treatment of problem behavior (Lindgren et al., 2016). However, few applications have occurred with participants outside the United States and little research exists evaluating the role that culture plays in service delivery. In the current study, we compared functional analyses and functional communication training delivered via telehealth by ethnically matched and ethnically distinct trainers to six participants in India. We measured the effectiveness using a multiple baseline design while collecting supplemental measures of sessions to criterion, cancellations, treatment fidelity, and social validity. We directly assessed preference for the ethnically matched and ethnically distinct trainers using a concurrent chains arrangement. Sessions with both trainers were effective in reducing problem behavior and increasing functional verbal requests for participating children, and treatment fidelity was high across training modalities. There were no major differences in sessions-to-criterion or cancellations across trainers. However, all six caregivers demonstrated greater preference for sessions with the ethnically matched trainer.

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