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Evaluating the Feasibility of a Play-Based Telehealth Intervention Program for Children with Prader–Willi Syndrome

Abstract

Here we report the feasibility and acceptability of telehealth for direct intervention in children with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS). Children with PWS have social-cognitive challenges that are similar to children with ASD. However, developing behavioral interventions for individuals with PWS is faced with the significant challenge of enrolling enough participants for local studies where multiple visits per week are indicated for effective intervention. This study delivered a 6-week play-based intervention via telehealth directly to eight children with PWS (6–12 years). Participants completed the program with minimal behavioral or technological difficulty (#sessions M = 11.875/12). Behavioral Intervention Rating Scale results indicate good acceptability (M = 5.54/6.00). These findings support using telehealth in rare disorders and delivering intervention directly to children with developmental delays through this modality.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all our research participants and their families for their time and support of this research. Thanks also to members of the Neurodevelopmental Research Lab and to Miriam Zegarac specifically for her expert assistance with this project. This work was supported by a grant from the Prader–Willi Syndrome Association (USA) to the first author.

Author Contributions

AD conceived of the study, supervised and contributed to data collection, supervised and reviewed statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. OZ conceived of the study, contributed to data collection, performed statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. SR conceived of the study, participated in the design of the study, and helped draft the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Anastasia Dimitropoulos.

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Dimitropoulos, A., Zyga, O. & Russ, S. Evaluating the Feasibility of a Play-Based Telehealth Intervention Program for Children with Prader–Willi Syndrome. J Autism Dev Disord 47, 2814–2825 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3196-z

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Keywords

  • Prader–Willi syndrome
  • Telehealth
  • Play-based intervention
  • Video conferencing