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Effects of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): a Systematic Review

Abstract

Background

Pivotal response treatment (PRT) is suggested to be an effective treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Objectives

We aimed to compile evidence examining the effectiveness of PRT on social communication, social interaction, and repetitive behavior for children with ASD.

Methods

We performed a systematic and comprehensive search for relevant trials about PRT. The results are summarized quantitatively and qualitatively.

Results

We included five randomized controlled trials suggesting that PRT may have positive effects on expressive language (SMD = 0.48; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.93), social interaction (SMD = 1.12; 95% CI 0.50 to 1.74), and repetitive behavior (SMD = 15.97; 95% CI 11.57 to 20.36). The effect on other outcomes, receptive language, and early learning skills is more uncertain. The quality of the evidence was found to be low.

Author’s Conclusions

PRT may be associated with advantageous effects, but more high-quality research is needed before we can draw firm conclusions.

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Acknowledgments

This systematic review is a result of the first author’s master thesis at the Center for Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway. We gratefully thanks for supplementary information from authors, included in this review. Last, we thank the support and feedbacks from colleagues and friends in our work.

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Authors

Contributions

HNO All parts.

KL Screening of records, assessment of risk of bias, helped to drafted the introduction and discussion of the manuscript.

LVN Quality of search, assessment of risk of bias, and helped to drafted the manuscript.

KGB Assessment of risk of bias, overall quality (GRADE), and helped to drafted the results and discussion of the manuscript.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hanne Nordvik Ona.

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The author declares that there is 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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Ona, H.N., Larsen, K., Nordheim, L.V. et al. Effects of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): a Systematic Review. Rev J Autism Dev Disord 7, 78–90 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40489-019-00180-z

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Keywords

  • Pivotal response treatment
  • PRT
  • Autism
  • ASD
  • Systematic review