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The effectiveness of intensive interaction, A systematic literature review

Hutchinson, Nick; Bodicoat, Anna


Anna Bodicoat


Intensive Interaction is an approach used for communicating with people with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities or autism. It has gained increased recognition as a helpful technique, but the evidence has not been systematically reviewed.

Computerized and hand searches of the literature were conducted using synonyms for ‘intellectual disabilities’, ‘autism’ and ‘intensive interaction’.

Fifteen quantitative and three qualitative papers were identified examining the efficacy of the approach with participants across the age range in both educational and residential settings.

Studies were limited by the quality of reporting and difficulties conducting good quality, ethically sound research with participants with PMID. Staff support should be considered in training to aid implementation of interventions. Studies attempted to investigate whether Intensive Interaction builds social interactions or reduces repetitive or self‐injurious behaviour. More research needs to be conducted before conclusions can be drawn regarding the efficacy of this approach.


Hutchinson, N., & Bodicoat, A. (2015). The effectiveness of intensive interaction, A systematic literature review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 28(6), 437-454.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 22, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 7, 2015
Publication Date 2015-11
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2019
Journal Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Print ISSN 1360-2322
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 6
Pages 437-454
Public URL
Publisher URL