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Evidence-based Therapy for Anxiety: Exploring the Most Valued Aspects for Adults with Autism

Gardiner, Chantelle (2018) Evidence-based Therapy for Anxiety: Exploring the Most Valued Aspects for Adults with Autism. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This thesis aimed to identify which aspects of currently recommended therapy for anxiety are considered most valuable to adults on the autism spectrum without a learning disability. An initial review of the literature identified very few studies had been conducted with this population in relation to psychological therapy, particularly within the UK. This is despite personal experiences of adapting traditional methods and techniques to increase the chances of success and improve outcomes. Of the studies reviewed, there was emerging evidence that adapted CBT and mindfulness can be effective in reducing anxiety. Further research exploring the views of adults with autism was considered highly important to help inform service provision.

Q methodology was considered a useful approach to identify views on the most valuable aspects of therapy for anxiety. The views of healthcare professionals were also incorporated to identify similarities and differences across groups. Q methodology was also useful for focusing on components of currently recommended therapy and how these aspects can be better incorporated into current service provision, given current service pressures and resources. 16 participants took part in the study; 12 adults with autism and four healthcare professionals. Participants were required to rank a set of 48 statements related to therapy and/or autism on a scale from least valued to most valued, from their own perspective. Factor analysis revealed two factors; the value of increasing coping skills using a personalised approach and therapeutic alliance, and the value of the mode, structure and predictability of therapy. The implications of these findings are discussed. An executive summary was written to summarise the research, and to provide to participants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 14:38
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 14:38

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