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J Appl Behav Anal. 1986 Winter; 19(4): 337–348.
PMCID: PMC1308083

Telephone conversational skills training with socially isolated, impaired nursing home residents.


We evaluated the effectiveness of a comprehensive training program for enhancing the conversational skills of socially isolated, impaired elderly nursing home residents. A multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to train four subjects (aged 87, 85, 68, and 66), on four content-related conversational components: expressing common courtesies, making positive self-disclosures, asking questions, and making interjections and acknowledgements. Training procedures included instructions, modeling, behavior rehearsal, feedback, and reinforcement. Results showed positive effects with all four subjects; in two cases, changes were significant enough to affect untrained observers' perceptions of the elders' conversational skills.

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Selected References

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