Token Economy

  • Created by: 0045253
  • Created on: 11-06-22 15:13
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  • Token Economies
    • These are reward systems used to manage the behaviour of patients with SZ.
      • Aim to improve a patient’s quality of life. 
    • Particularly those who have been institutionalised for a long period of time and are likely to have developed bad habits such as staying pyjamas all day or bad hygiene.
    • Tokens are given when a desirable behaviour has been carried out e.g. getting dressed in the morning (positive reinforcement)
      • Tokens are secondary reinforcers that can then be swapped for tangible rewards e.g. being able to go for a walk outside of the hospital.
      • P - Do not address the symptoms of SZ so they are not a ‘treatment’
        • E - Patients seen as lab rats who can be manipulated principles based on animal behaviour, which underestimate the role of cognitive factors such as motivation
          • E - Privileges maybe more available to those with mild symptoms and less likely for those with severe symptoms that prevent them form exhibiting desirable behaviours
            • L - This means that token economy can be viewed as unethical and discriminative, therefore it's not appropriate for everyone.
      • P - There is evidence to support the the use of token  economy.
        • E -  McMonagle & Sultana (2009) conducted a meta-analysis of token economy involving 110 people. Found slight evidence for improved mental state, especially with negative symptoms
          • E - However, there were only 3 studies where ppts had been randomly allocated to conditions, it's likely that patients with less severe symptoms would be placed in the token economy group.
            • L - This suggests there is limited support for token economies used.
      • P - There're economic implications of psychological treatments for SZ.
        • E - Drug therapies tend to be cheaper than psychological therapies as they don't require regular therapy appointments.
          • E - However, psychological therapies have led to a reduction in relapse rates and hospital stays which can be very costly to the economy.
            • L - This means that psychological treatments for SZ have a positive impact on the economy as it provides a more longterm strategy for relapse avoidance.
      • P - Psychologists dispute whether psychological treatments treat the underlying caused
        • E - Psychological therapies offer patients a way of managing their symptoms and as such are not necessarily a cure
          • E - Others argue that they're more likely to treat the underlying cause that biological therapies, which only treat the symptoms whilst being taken.
            • L - This suggests that psychological treatments can lead to patients having an enhanced quality of life in the long term as a strategies can be used even after treatment has stopped


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