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Defining and Measuring Rapport: Implications for Supporting People with Complex Needs

Kamisha Guthrie (Kingston Primary Care Trust NHS Psychology and Challenging Needs Service)
Julie Beadle‐Brown (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 1 July 2006



The aim of the research presented here was to identify behavioural cues of rapport and warmth, in order to enable the construction of a valid measurement tool that would support existing methods of behavioural analysis. A number of general research questions were put to six focus groups. Participants were individuals with learning disabilities, professionals working for the NHS or a local authority, and support workers. Data obtained was qualitative in nature and was examined using content analysis and comparisons between participants' experiences. Methods of interaction and communication with people who were either liked or disliked were generally similar across groups, although this varied by specific category. Behavioural cues of rapport were identified and categorised. Most of these would be of use in the creation of an assessment tool, although some adjustment is required so that they can be measured. Implications of the findings are discussed.


Guthrie, K. and Beadle‐Brown, J. (2006), "Defining and Measuring Rapport: Implications for Supporting People with Complex Needs", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 21-30.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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