Mental Health Interventions for Parent Carers of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Practice Guidelines from a Critical Interpretive Synthesis (CIS) Systematic Review.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Feb 14;15(2):

Authors: Catalano D, Holloway L, Mpofu E

Parent carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often report increased levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Unmet parent carer mental health needs pose a significant risk to the psychological, physical, and social well-being of the parents of the child affected by ASD and jeopardize the adaptive functioning of the family as well as the potential of the child affected by ASD. This systematic review identifies key qualities of interventions supporting the mental health of parent carers and proposes practitioner-parent carer support guidelines. A search of four databases (Medline, PubMed, PsycINFO, and Social Science Data) was conducted to identify studies that met the following criteria: (1) an intervention was delivered to parent carers of a child with ASD under the age of 18 years; (2) the research design allowed for a comparison on outcomes across groups; and (3) outcome measures of the parent carers’ mental health were used. A total of 23 studies met the inclusion criteria. A critical interpretive synthesis approach was used to produce an integrated conceptualization of the evidence. Findings suggest practitioner guidelines to support the mental health and wellbeing of parent carers should include addressing the parent’s self-perspective taking and skill for real time problem-solving.

PMID: 29443933 [PubMed – in process]

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