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Title: Group interventions for adults with ASD
Author: Cernyw, Ela
ISNI:       0000 0004 5350 3226
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2015
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The literature review explored group based psychosocial interventions for adolescents and adults with ASD. The interventions detailed in the review addressed many of the reported difficulties of ASD (i.e. social interaction, communication skills, and managing emotional distress). Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria and almost all studies (n = 14) reported improvements in most or all of their targeted outcomes. Our ability to assess the overall benefit of group based psychosocial interventions was limited, due to small sample sizes, variation in study qualities, and the heterogeneous nature of the interventions. Research in this field would benefit from moving in a coherent direction, with researchers developing an intervention and evaluating its effectiveness in large scale controlled studies, rather than numerous researchers publishing pilot or small scale studies. The empirical paper described a thematic analysis of participants with ASD (n=4) and facilitators’ (n=2) experiences of a social skills intervention. Richly detailed accounts from participants and facilitators described a broad range of individual and group based processes, and allowed a comparison of multiple perspectives. An overarching concept of separate togetherness was identified in the data, which refers to the shared but individual learning experience within and between the participants and the facilitators. Both papers highlight the challenge of generalisation of skills when working with individuals with ASD, and the difficulty of addressing the individual needs of participants in a group intervention. The results suggest that group based psychosocial interventions show promise, however further, longer-term, exploration is needed in order to consolidate the evidence base. The final paper examines the contributions made to theory and clinical practice, whilst outlining areas requiring further research.
Supervisor: Griffith, Gemma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available