Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 11, pp 2491–2501 | Cite as

Measurement Tools and Target Symptoms/Skills Used to Assess Treatment Response for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Erin Elizabeth Bolte
  • Joshua John Diehl
Original Paper


This study examined the measurement tools and target symptoms/skills used to assess treatment response during Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) intervention trials from 2001 through 2010. Data from 195 prospective trials were analyzed. There were 289 unique measurement tools, of which 61.6 % were used only once, and 20.8 % were investigator-designed. Only three tools were used in more than 2 % of the studies, and none were used in more than 7 % of studies. Studies investigated an average of 11.4 tool-symptom combinations per trial, with as many as 45 in one study. These results represent a lack of consistency in outcome measurements in ASD intervention trials. These findings highlight the need to set guidelines for appropriate outcome measurement in the ASD field.


Autism Intervention Treatment Behavior Symptoms Measures 



The study was supported in part by the Glynn Family Honors Program at the University of Notre Dame and a grant from the Boler Family Foundation (J. Diehl, P.I.). We would like to thank Ellen Bolte, R.N., for her thoughtful comments as we developed this review, and Stephany Mazur for her feedback during the editing process.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10803_2013_1798_MOESM1_ESM.doc (330 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 330 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Children and FamiliesUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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