A systematic review of factors related to parents’ treatment decisions for their children with autism spectrum disorders

Journal article


Wilson, Meghan, Hamilton, David, Whelan, Thomas and Pilkington, Pamela. (2018) A systematic review of factors related to parents’ treatment decisions for their children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 48, pp. 17 - 35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2018.01.004
AuthorsWilson, Meghan, Hamilton, David, Whelan, Thomas and Pilkington, Pamela
Abstract

Background There are many treatment options for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Misinformation and easy access to ineffective treatments complicates the decision-making process for parents. Research on implicit factors (e.g., parent or child characteristics) and declared factors (e.g., parent-reported reasons) contributes to an understanding of what influences these decisions. Method The aim of this systematic review was to examine the significance of factors associated with treatment selection. The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA protocol. Results The search revealed 51 studies which contained data on implicit and/or declared factors associated with treatment selection. The data were tabulated by factor and synthesised. The severity of a child’s behavioural problems, parental stress, and parent beliefs about ASD were consistently identified as implicit factors associated with the use of particular treatments. A wide range of reasons for treatment choices were declared by parent respondents, including; the individual needs of their child, recommendations from others, practical reasons (e.g., cost), child age, hope for recovery, hope for improvement, and concerns about side-effects. Conclusion A better understanding of these factors will inform targeted educational approaches which encourage evidence-based practice and a more informed view of treatments not yet supported by research.

Keywordsautism spectrum disorder; ASD; treatment decisions; parents; systematic review
Year2018
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Journal citation48, pp. 17 - 35
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1750-9467
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2018.01.004
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85041586778
Page range17 - 35
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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