Effects of Caregiver-Focused Programs on Psychosocial Outcomes in Caregivers of Individuals with ASD: A Meta-analysis
The current meta-analysis comprehensively reviewed group-design studies of interventions designed to improve ASD caregiver psychosocial outcomes and explored potential moderators of effectiveness. Forty-one unique studies targeting 1771 caregivers met inclusion criteria. Overall, the interventions had a small positive effect in improving psychosocial outcomes in caregivers of individuals with ASD (within-subjects: Hedges’ g = .44; between-subjects: Hedges’ g = .28). Most intervention approaches demonstrated some evidence of effectiveness. Acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and cognitive behavioral treatments demonstrated the strongest impact in improving caregiver psychosocial outcomes in pre-post comparisons. Although the results provide preliminary support for the effectiveness of caregiver-focused interventions, more studies with larger sample sizes, rigorous research designs, and long-term follow-up assessments are needed.
KeywordsCaregiver Parents Autism spectrum disorder Meta-analysis Psychosocial outcomes Intervention
The authors would like to acknowledge Catherine Mosher, Ph.D. and Kevin Rand, Ph.D. for their assistance in the development of this project.
YY and JM conceived this research. YY performed the review, designed and performed the analyses, and interpreted data. YY and JM wrote and edited the manuscript. JB performed interrater reliability and participated in manuscript revision.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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