Implementation and effectiveness of non-specialist mediated interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Naveed S, Waqas A, Amray AN, Memon RI, Javed N, Tahir MA, Ghozy S, Jahan N, Khan AS, and Rahman A. Implementation and effectiveness of non-specialist mediated interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2019; 14(11):e0224362.
INTRODUCTION: In recent years, several non-specialist mediated interventions have been developed and tested to address problematic symptoms associated with autism. These can be implemented with a fraction of cost required for specialist delivered interventions. This review represents a robust evidence of clinical effectiveness of these interventions in improving the social, motor and communication deficits among children with autism.
METHODS: An electronic search was conducted in eight academic databases from their inception to 31st December 2018. A total of 31 randomized controlled trials were published post-2010 while only 2 were published prior to it. Outcomes pertaining to communication, social skills and caregiver-child relationship were meta-analyzed when reported in > 2 studies.
RESULTS: A significant improvement was noted in child distress (SMD = 0.55), communication (SMD = 0.23), expressive language (SMD = 0.47), joint engagement (SMD = 0.63), motor skills (SMD = 0.25), parental distress (SMD = 0.33) parental self-efficacy (SMD = 0.42) parent-child relationship (SMD = 0.67) repetitive behaviors (SMD = 0.33), self-regulation (SMD = 0.54), social skills (SMD = 0.53) symptom severity (SMD = 0.44) and visual reception (SMD = 0.29).
CONCLUSION: Non-specialist mediated interventions for autism spectrum disorder demonstrate effectiveness across a range of outcomes for children with autism and their caregivers.