COMPASS for Hope: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent Training and Support Program for Children with ASD

Abstract

Despite the growing number of studies that demonstrate the importance of empowering parents with knowledge and skills to act as intervention agents for their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there are limited examples of parent-mediated interventions that focus on problem behaviors. Additionally, access to ASD-trained clinicians and research supported delivery options for families in rural areas is severely limited. COMPASS for Hope (C-HOPE) is an 8-week parent intervention program that was developed with the option of telehealth or face-to-face delivery. Parents who received C-HOPE intervention reported a reduction in parenting stress and an increase in competence. Parents also reported significant reductions in child behavior problems, both when compared to pre-intervention levels and to a waitlist control condition.

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Acknowledgments

We want to acknowledge our two telehealth coordinators at the rural sites Francis Feltner, DNP, MSN, R.N. Director of the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health and Mary Horsley, R.N., CCRP, Clinical Trials/TeleDirector of St. Claire Regional Medical Center, our funding source (The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky Collaborative Research initiative), Tim Bickel, Telehealth Director at the University of Louisville and all the parents and families who participated in this project.

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GK conceived of the study, participated in its design, and coordination, interpretation of results and drafted the manuscript; LR conceived the study, participated in the design, coordination of the study, interpretation of the data and manuscript revisions; RR participated in conception of the study, the design and coordination of the study as well as manuscript revisions; AA participated in the design of the study, coordination of study and data collection; AR participated in its design, data collection and entry of data; MT participated in data analysis and interpretation of results. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Grace M. Kuravackel.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 as revised in 2008. The Institutional Review Boards of the two collaborating universities (University of Louisville and University of Kentucky) approved this study (#13-0926-F4S).

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Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Kuravackel, G.M., Ruble, L.A., Reese, R.J. et al. COMPASS for Hope: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent Training and Support Program for Children with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 404–416 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3333-8

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Keywords

  • Parent intervention
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Problem behavior
  • Telehealth
  • Parent-stress
  • Parent efficacy