Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 2335–2349 | Cite as

Allied Health Professionals’ Knowledge and Use of ASD Intervention Practices

  • Jessica Paynter
  • Rhylee Sulek
  • Sarah Luskin-Saxby
  • David Trembath
  • Deb Keen
Original Paper


Allied health professionals (AHPs) are trusted sources of information and intervention for clients with autism spectrum disorder. However, the level of implementation of empirically-supported therapies and the accuracy of the knowledge they use to inform intervention selection is largely unknown. The present study explored the accuracy of AHPs’ knowledge and use of practices, and explored links to individual attitudes and organisational culture. Overall results from the 156 AHPs surveyed suggested general accuracy of knowledge, and use of empirically supported treatments, with accuracy linked to use. Use of practices unsupported by research was linked to organisational culture and openness to new interventions. The presence of misinformation and the impact on selection and use of effective practices are discussed.


Autism spectrum disorder Allied health professionals Knowledge translation Implementation science Evidence-based practice 



We thank the allied health professionals who participated in this research.

Author Contributions

JP conceived the study, co-ordinated the study, assisted with design and completion of statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. RS collected and analysed data and contributed to manuscript preparation. SL-S contributed to manuscript preparation and interpretation of findings. DT assisted with the design and co-ordination of the study, selection of analyses, and contributed to manuscript preparation. DK assisted with the design and co-ordination of the study, selection of analyses, and contributed to manuscript preparation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study received funding from the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University (Internal Seed Funding Grant). David Trembath is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council ECR Fellowship (GNT1071881).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menzies Health Institute QueenslandGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  2. 2.Autism Centre of Excellence, School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityMt GravattAustralia
  3. 3.School of Applied PsychologyGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia

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