The effect of behavioural interventions for sleep problems on secondary outcomes in children with ASD and their parents. (2018)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsVivian, Jemmashow all
Sleep problems are highly prevalent in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are one of the most common sources of concern for parents. A small number of studies have investigated the negative secondary effects associated with sleep problems. However, there has been limited research looking at the outcomes of successful behavioural sleep interventions on children’s daytime behaviour and parental well-being. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether improved sleep resulting from behaviourally based sleep interventions had any effect on children’s daytime behaviour and parental well-being. Twenty-four children participated, aged between 3 and 14 years including their parents. The design of this study was a single-case multiple baseline across participants with pre- and post-intervention measures. In response to treatment, the study did not find consistent improvements in children’s daytime functioning or parental wellbeing across all participants, as measured by the CSHQ, GARS-3, CBCL, DASS-21, PSQI and RQI. However, the majority improved on these measures and some to a clinically significant degree.
Behaviourally-based sleep interventions were found to be effective in improving marital satisfaction, parent sleep quality as well as levels of depression, anxiety and stress among parents and decreasing ASD severity and problem behaviours (e.g., externalising behaviour) in children. However, deteriorations were also evident, with some parent’s deteriorating to a clinically significant degree on these outcomes. The present findings add to the limited literature investigating pre- and post- measures of secondary outcomes associated with sleep difficulties in the ASD population. Future research may address the use of objective and subjective measures as well as participant specific variables in response to treatment.