Randomized Controlled Trial: Multimodal Anxiety and Social Skill Intervention for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Anxiety is common among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and may amplify the core social disability, thus necessitating combined treatment approaches. This pilot, randomized controlled trial evaluated the feasibility and preliminary outcomes of the Multimodal Anxiety and Social Skills Intervention (MASSI) program in a sample of 30 adolescents with ASD and anxiety symptoms of moderate or greater severity. The treatment was acceptable to families, subject adherence was high, and therapist fidelity was high. A 16 % improvement in ASD social impairment (within-group effect size = 1.18) was observed on a parent-reported scale. Although anxiety symptoms declined by 26 %, the change was not statistically significant. These findings suggest MASSI is a feasible treatment program and further evaluation is warranted.