A thematic analysis of influences on parents’ autism intervention decisions

Journal article


Wilson, Meghan, Whelan, Thomas, Milne, Lisa, Hamilton, David, Jacobs, Diane and Pilkington, Pamela. (2021). A thematic analysis of influences on parents’ autism intervention decisions. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 117, p. Article 104035. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104035
AuthorsWilson, Meghan, Whelan, Thomas, Milne, Lisa, Hamilton, David, Jacobs, Diane and Pilkington, Pamela
Abstract

Background
Factors impacting parents’ selection of interventions for their child on the autism spectrum need to be understood in order to better support decision-making. The aim of the current study was to explore parent-reported influences on decisions.

Method
A sample of 14 Australian parents (13 mothers; 1 father) of a child (4–11 years) diagnosed on the autism spectrum were interviewed about their decisions regarding the use of interventions. A thematic analysis was used to identify prominent themes.

Findings
A total of three themes, comprising 11 subthemes were identified. The primary themes were: finding interventions; meeting child and family needs; and acceptability and access.

Conclusion
Parents’ responses highlighted influences on decisions to use evidence-based practices (e.g., behavioural therapies and social skills programs), as well as those with limited empirical support (e.g., animal-assisted therapy and dietary intervention). Influences frequently reported in extant research were reported by parents in this study (e.g., recommendations, logistics of access, and children’s individual needs) as well as issues that warrant further investigation (e.g., coping with challenges and stress, importance of intervention intensity, and consideration of the whole family).

Keywordsautism; parents; decision-making; intervention; therapies
Year2021
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Journal citation117, p. Article 104035
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN0891-4222
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104035
PubMed ID34329855
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85111231117
Page range1-10
FunderResearch Training Program Scholarship (RTP), Australian Government
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Jul 2021
Deposited17 Oct 2023
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