Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/31121
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Self-guided mindfulness and cognitive behavioural practices reduce anxiety in autistic adults: A pilot 8-month waitlist-controlled trial of widely available online tools
Author(s): Gaigg, Sebastian B
Flaxman, Paul E
McLaven, Gracie
Shah, Ritika
Bowler, Dermot M
Meyer, Brenda
Roestorf, Amanda
Haenschel, Corinna
Rodgers, Jacqui
South, Mikle
Contact Email: amanda.roestorf@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Autism Spectrum
Anxiety
Cognitive Therapies
Mindfulness
Mental Health
Online
Issue Date: 1-May-2020
Citation: Gaigg SB, Flaxman PE, McLaven G, Shah R, Bowler DM, Meyer B, Roestorf A, Haenschel C, Rodgers J & South M (2020) Self-guided mindfulness and cognitive behavioural practices reduce anxiety in autistic adults: A pilot 8-month waitlist-controlled trial of widely available online tools. Autism, 24 (4), pp. 867-883. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361320909184
Abstract: Anxiety in autism is an important target for psychological therapies because it is very common and because it significantly impacts upon quality of life and well-being. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive behaviour therapies and mindfulness-based therapies can help autistic individuals learn to manage feelings of anxiety but access to such therapies remains problematic. In the current pilot study, we examined whether existing online cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness-based therapy self-help tools can help reduce anxiety in autistic adults. Specifically, 35 autistic adults were asked to try either an existing online cognitive behaviour therapy (n = 16) or mindfulness-based therapy (n = 19) programme while a further 19 autistic adults served as a waitlist comparison group. A first important finding was that 23 of the 35 (66%) participants who tried the online tools completed them, suggesting that such tools are, in principle, acceptable to many autistic adults. In addition, adults in the cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness-based therapy conditions reported significant decreases in anxiety over 3 and to some extent also 6 months that were less apparent in the waitlist group of participants. On broader measures of mental health and well-being, the benefits of the online tools were less apparent. Overall, the results suggest that online self-help cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness-based therapy tools should be explored further as a means of providing cost-effective mental health support to at least those autistic individuals who can engage effectively with such online tools.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1362361320909184
Rights: Gaigg SB, Flaxman PE, McLaven G, Shah R, Bowler DM, Meyer B, Roestorf A, Haenschel C, Rodgers J & South M, Self-guided mindfulness and cognitive behavioural practices reduce anxiety in autistic adults: A pilot 8-month waitlist-controlled trial of widely available online tools, Autism, 24 (4), pp. 867-883. Copyright © The Authors 2020. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361320909184
Licence URL(s): https://storre.stir.ac.uk/STORREEndUserLicence.pdf

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