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Brief Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comprehensive Survey of Randomized Controlled Trials


We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to provide an overview of evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of therapeutic interventions for autism spectrum disorders. From the final survey (529 RCTs), the mean size was 49 participants (standard deviation 50, range 1–479, median 36, mode 40), with a sharp increase in the number of RCTs from 2008. The most frequently evaluated intervention was antipsychotic treatment (n = 44, 3006 participants). The journal with the most RCTs was the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (N = 104). Most trials were small in size, emphasising the need for research groups to collaborate to generate higher quality data with greater applicability to clinical practice.

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The authors would like to thank the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group for the provision of data and library services.

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ST conceived of the study, participated in its design, led in its coordination and drafted the manuscript; CA conceived of the study, led in its design, participated in its coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Samuel Tromans.

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Samuel Tromans and Clive Adams declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Tromans, S., Adams, C. Brief Report: Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comprehensive Survey of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 3228–3232 (2018).

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