Systematic Review of Quality of Life for Family Members of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Asia and Mindfulness Based Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Parents: Mechanism, Evidence, and Feasibility
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
MeSH SubjectsGlobal Health
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifetime neurodevelopmental disorder with presence of symptoms early in development. About 1 in 68 children have been identified with ASD globally. Parents of children with ASD face diverse hurdles that can have a significant impact on their quality of life (QOL), and interventions may be able to improve these outcomes. A systematic review was conducted to assess the QOL for family members of children with ASD in Asia and to elucidate interventions that can impact QOL outcome measures. This study sought to synthesize QOL outcomes for parents of children with ASD across Asia by drawing from currently available primary research. It also sought to examine interventions that have been used in this population to investigate their impact on QOL outcomes in order to unveil the most efficacious interventions for impacting a given outcome. A total of 34 studies were included for review; 17 were used for quantitative analysis and 17 used for qualitative review. Parents of children with ASD in Asia were found to have lower QOL in the areas of general health, role physical, social, vitality, mental health, stress, and overall well-being than parents of typically developing (TD) children. High sense of coherence was shown to be associated with higher parental QOL and lower parental stress. Certain factors were found to be associated with higher sense of coherence including: male gender, parent age greater than 45, and child age greater than seven. Mothers were broadly found to have lower QOL than fathers. Mothers had a lower sense of coherence, lower health-related QOL, poorer overall well-being, and higher stress levels. Coping strategies that parents of children with ASD were found to use most often were religion and a focus on positive growth to create meaning. Not all interventions resulted in positive outcomes. A Mindfulness Based Intervention in Jordan positively impacted QOL outcomes. A Multidisciplinary Parent Education program in China had a significant positive impact on family functioning, while a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) intervention for children with ASD decreased parental stress. Additionally, parents having and maintaining contact with parents in a similar situation helped improve well-being, parental stress and family functioning, following an intervention. This preliminary work investigating QOL for family members of children with ASD emphasizes the importance of discovering QOL outcome targets and pairing these with efficacious interventions that are specific to the needs of the population.