research review (from USA): update on behaviour interventions

A report/review prepared for the US Department of Health and Human Services on behaviour therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder found:

A growing evidence base suggests that behavioral interventions can be associated with positive outcomes for children with ASD. Despite improvements in the quality of the included literature, a need remains for studies of interventions across settings and continued improvements in methodologic rigor. Substantial scientific advances are needed to enhance our understanding of which interventions are most effective for specific children with ASD and to isolate elements or components of interventions most associated with effects.

The authors of the reports say:

We anticipate that the report will be of value to clinicians who treat children with ASD, who can use the report to assess the evidence for different treatment strategies. In addition, this review will be of use to the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Health Resources and Services Administration–all of which have offices or bureaus devoted to child health issues and may use the report to compare treatments and determine priorities for funding. This report can bring practitioners up to date about the current state of evidence related to behavioral interventions, and it provides an assessment of the quality of studies that aim to determine the outcomes of therapeutic options for the management of ASD. It will be of interest to families affected by ASD because of the recurring need for families and their health care providers to make the best possible decisions among numerous options. We also anticipate it will be of use to private-sector organizations concerned with ASD; the report can inform such organizations’ understanding of the effectiveness of treatments and the amount and quality of evidence available. Researchers can obtain a concise analysis of the current state of knowledge related to behavioral interventions for ASD. They will be poised to pursue further investigations that are needed to understand best approaches to behavioral therapies for children with ASD.

The report is at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/544/1945/autism-update-report-140806.pdf

Fuller versions of the report are available for download from:

More media cover at http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/08/21/support-behavior-therapy/19606/