Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 354–366

Designing Research Studies on Psychosocial Interventions in Autism

  • Tristram Smith
  • Lawrence Scahill
  • Geraldine Dawson
  • Donald Guthrie
  • Catherine Lord
  • Samuel Odom
  • Sally Rogers
  • Ann Wagner
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0173-3

Cite this article as:
Smith, T., Scahill, L., Dawson, G. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2007) 37: 354. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0173-3

Abstract

To address methodological challenges in research on psychosocial interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a model was developed for systematically validating and disseminating interventions in a sequence of steps. First, initial efficacy studies are conducted to establish interventions as promising. Next, promising interventions are assembled into a manual, which undergoes pilot-testing. Then, randomized clinical trials test efficacy under controlled conditions. Finally, effectiveness studies evaluate outcomes in community settings. Guidelines for research designs at each step are presented. Based on the model, current priorities in ASD research include (a) preparation for efficacy and effectiveness trials by developing manuals for interventions that have shown promise and (b) initial efficacy studies on interventions for core features of ASD such as social reciprocity.

Keywords

AutismPsychosocial interventionBehavioral treatmentClinical trialSingle-subject design

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tristram Smith
    • 1
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • 2
  • Geraldine Dawson
    • 3
  • Donald Guthrie
    • 4
  • Catherine Lord
    • 5
  • Samuel Odom
    • 6
  • Sally Rogers
    • 7
  • Ann Wagner
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Strong Center for Developmental DisabilitiesUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Yale University School of Nursing and Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, M.I.N.D. InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  8. 8.Division of Pediatric Translational Research and Treatment Development, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA