The use of cognitive behavioural therapy with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder across the lifespan: A meta-analysis

Weston, Lisa (2016) The use of cognitive behavioural therapy with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder across the lifespan: A meta-analysis. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Background and Aims
Despite a growing interest in the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with individuals with
Autism Spectrum Disorders, there has been little systematic appraisal of effectiveness
research in this area to date. The primary aim of the current study was to systematically
appraise the evidence for using CBT in the treatment of either core features of ASD or cooccurring
mental disorder in individuals with ASD across the lifespan.
Methods
A systematic search of relevant databases was conducted according to pre-defined criteria,
followed by a series of random effects meta-analyses to account for the variation in outcome
report type.
Results
Fifty studies met inclusion criteria and 48 studies, involving 2099 participants (1081 CBT,
1018 control) were included in the meta-analysis. CBT for the treatment of mental disorder
was associated with a significant “medium” effect size, g = .66, for informant-reported
measures, and a significant “medium” effect size, g = .73, for clinician-reported measures.
Similarly, CBT for the treatment of core features of ASD was associated with a significant
“small” effect size, g = .48, for informant-reported measures, a significant “medium” effect
size, g = .65, for clinician-reported measures, and a significant “small” effect size, g = .35, for
task-based measures. CBT was not found to be superior to control when self-reported
outcome measures were utilised. Sensitivity analyses to exclude outliers and studies deemed
to be at a high risk of bias generally reduced effect size magnitude. Subgroup analysis was
severely limited by a lack of definitive studies and the interpretation of results was hampered
by the poor methodological quality of included studies.
Conclusions
Future larger-scale clinical trials are needed to further explore the effectiveness of CBT in
this client group, with well characterised samples, clearly defined primary outcome measures
and adequate randomisation, allocation concealment and blinding.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Vailele Chittock
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 09:44
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2016 09:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59680
DOI:

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