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Title: Exploring the prerequisite skills for cognitive behavioural therapy : relationship to emotion awareness and treatment outcome for young people with autism spectrum disorders
Author: Roberts-Collins, Cara
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 0785
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2016
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Young people (YP) with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience high levels of anxiety and depression. The NICE guidelines (2013) suggest adapted Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for such difficulties. Research has identified prerequisites to engage in CBT, including the ability to understand thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In order to employ these skills, people need to have an awareness of their own emotions, and to be socialised to (or understand) the CBT model. However, there is no evidence to suggest whether prerequisite skills and emotion awareness are important factors in CBT outcome for YP with ASD. This study aimed to explore differences in emotion awareness between: 1) YP with ASD and controls; and 2) YP with ASD with and without prior experience of CBT; and 3) whether emotion awareness and cognitive competencies for CBT were related to treatment outcome. Three groups of YP (aged 11-20 years old) took part in the study; those without ASD who had not had CBT (n=50), those with ASD who had not participated in CBT (n=23), and those with ASD who had taken part in CBT (n=27). All participants completed the Emotion Awareness Questionnaire (EAQ-30). A novel CBT skills task was developed and piloted by 14 YP with a diagnosis of ASD who had taken part in CBT. They also completed an interview about CBT and psychoeducation, and clinicians rated socialisation and therapeutic outcome. On the EAQ-30, those with ASD scored significantly lower than the control group on four subscales. Those with ASD who had attended CBT scored significantly lower on Differentiating Emotions and higher on Attending to Others' Emotions. On the CBT task, participants could identify a greater number of feelings than thoughts or behaviours, and could link them together. Performance on the CBT task was not significantly related to outcome, socialisation, or psychoeducation. However, 85.7% reported a positive experience of CBT. This is the first study to examine the prerequisite skills for CBT and recognition of own emotions in adolescents with ASD. It highlights the importance of tailoring CBT and ensuring YP are taught about understanding their own emotions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available