ERIC Number: EJ1087283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
Telehealth Delivery of Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention to Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Anxiety: A Pilot Study
Hepburn, Susan L.; Blakeley-Smith, Audrey; Wolff, Brian; Reaven, Judy A.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v20 n2 p207-218 Feb 2016
Youth with autism spectrum disorders frequently experience significant symptoms of anxiety. Empirically supported psychosocial interventions exist, yet access is limited, especially for families in rural areas. Telehealth (i.e. videoconferencing) has potential to reduce barriers to access to care; however, little is known about the feasibility or efficacy of directly intervening with youth with autism spectrum disorders through this modality. This study details the pilot testing of a telehealth version of an empirically supported intervention targeting anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders. The primary focus of this study is on feasibility, with evaluation of outcomes as a starting point for future randomized trials. In all, 33 families of youth with autism spectrum disorders and significant anxiety symptoms participated in this study (Telehealth Facing Your Fears (FYF) Intervention: n?=?17; Wait-list control: n?=?16). Youth of all functioning levels were included. Acceptability was strong; however, the usability of the technology was problematic for some families and impeded some sessions significantly. Fidelity of the telehealth version to the critical elements of the original, "in vivo" version was excellent. More work is needed to improve delivery of exposure practices and parent coaching. Preliminary efficacy analyses are promising, with improvements observed in youth anxiety over time (relative to a comparison group waiting for live intervention) and parent sense of competence (within group). Clearly, stronger designs are necessary to evaluate efficacy sufficiently; however, this study does provide support for further investigation of clinic-to-home videoconferencing as a direct intervention tool for youth with autism spectrum disorders and their parents.
Descriptors: Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Health Promotion, Telecommunications, Pilot Projects, Comorbidity, Feasibility Studies, Program Evaluation, Outcomes of Treatment, Intervention, Usability, Fidelity, Delivery Systems, Videoconferencing, Parent Attitudes, Mental Health Programs, Health Services, Quasiexperimental Design, Statistical Significance, Intelligence Tests, Children, Cognitive Ability, Interviews, Surveys, Likert Scales
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Wechsler Intelligence Scales Short Forms
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: R40MC155930100