Owens et al., 2008

Study DescriptionInterventionInclusion/Exclusion
Criteria/Population
Baseline MeasuresOutcomes
Author:
Owens et al., 2008
Country:
UK
Practice setting:
Academic
Intervention setting:
School
Enrollment period:
NR
Funding:
Medical Research Council
Author industry relationship disclosures:
NR
Design:
Non-randomized Control Trial
Intervention:
LEGO Therapy and SULP (Social Use of Language Programme)
One hour of group therapy per week for 18 weeks (over 5.5 months)
LEGO: Collaborative
LEGO play with projects divided into different roles, facilitated by adult super-visor
SULP: direct teaching based on stories, activities, and games using stories, adult models, and children practicing to learn social and communication skills
Assessments:
Initial: Wechsler IQ, GARS, Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale, Conner’s ADHD and CDC.
Outcome: VABS (socialization, communication and maladaptive behavior domains), GARS, parent satisfaction and child enjoyment, direct observation on school playground (examiner unblinded to group)
Groups:
G1: LEGO
G2: SULP
G3: controls*
Provider:
First author (trained in LEGO therapy by Dr. LeGoff) with under-graduate volunteers who attended a one day training supervised by the first author
Measure of treatment fidelity reported:
No
Co-interventions held stable during treatment:
NR
Inclusion criteria:
  • Current diagnosis of HFA, Aspergers, ASD, or autism by a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or pediatrician
  • 6–11 years old
  • IQ > 70
  • Met cutoff on SCQ or ADI-R
  • Able to speak on phrases
  • Currently receiving no other behavioral intervention or social skills groups
  • Attending mainstream education or an inclusion unit in a mainstream school
  • No additional diagnoses of psychiatric disorders
Exclusion Criteria:
  • See inclusion criteria
Age, months ± SD:
G1: 99.13 ± 20.14
G2: 97.33 ± 22.33
G3: 105.81 ± 16.05
Mental age, mean ± SD:
WASI FSIQ:
G1: 113.93 ±16.97
G2: 106.87 ± 17.15
G3: 108 ± 14.48
WASI VIQ:
G1: 110.4 ± 16.24
G2: 100.62 ± 22.62
G3: 105 ± 15.61
GARS AQ:
G1: 81.75 ± 16.39
G2: 86.27 ± 13.53
G3: 93.19 ± 18.23
Gender, n (%):
Male:
G1: 16 (100)
G2: 14 (93)
G3: 16 (100)
Female:
G1: 0
G2: 1 (7)
G3: 0
Race/ethnicity:
NR
Overall ratings:
GARS social interaction score, mean ± SD:
G1: 7.94 ± 2.70
G2: 8.60 ± 2.97
G3: 8.75 ± 2.91
Social skills:
Frequency of self-initiated social interactions, 10 minute playground observation, mean ± SD:**
G1: 9.09 ± 5.49
G2: 8.40 ± 6.34
Duration of self-initiated social interactions, 10 minute playground observation, mean ± SD:**
G1: 4.77 ± 2.25
G2: 4.96 ± 2.30
Adaptive behavior:
VABS socialization score, mean ± SD:
G1: 70.56 ± 12.13
G2: 63.73 ± 11.63
G3: 67.19 ± 11.51
VABS communication score, mean ± SD
G1: 87.25 ± 14.89
G2: 74.13 ± 18.47
G3: 82.5 ± 23.94
VABS maladaptive behaviors score, mean ± SD
G1: 17.75± 9.43
G2: 19.31 ± 7.89
G3: 23.19 ± 6.15
Overall ratings:
GARS social interaction score, mean ± SD:
G1: 7.44 ± 2.20
G2: 9.27 ± 2.66
G3: 9.75 ± 3.36
G1/BL: P = NS
G2/BL: P = NS
G3/BL: P = NS
G1/G2: P < 0.05
G1/G3: P < 0.05
G2/G3: P = NS
Social skills:
Frequency of self-initiated social interactions, 10 minute playground observation, mean ± SD:**
G1: 8.81 ± 7.32
G2: 7.20 ± 5.67
Duration of self-initiated social interactions, 10 minute playground observation, mean ± SD:**
G1: 6.66 ± 3.54
G2: 5.80 ± 2.30
G1/BL: P < 0.05
G2/BL: P = NS
G1/G2: P = NS
Adaptive behavior:
VABS socializetion score, mean ± SD
G1: 75.94 ± 14.86
G2: 71.33 ± 12.63
G3: 69.69 ± 13.23
G1/BL: P = NS
G2/BL: P < 0.05
G3/BL: P = NS
G1/G2: P = NS
G1/G3: P = NS
G2/G3: P = NS
Concomitant therapies, n (%):
G1:
Speech and language:
G1: 3 (19)
G2: 4 (27)
G3: 7 (44)
OT:
G1: 0
G2: 0
G3: 4 (25)
GF/CF diet:
G1: 1 (6)
G2: 0
G3: 1 (6)
N at enrollment:
G1: 16 (in 5 groups)
G2: 15 (in 5 groups)
G3: 16
N at follow-up:
G1: 16
G2: 15
G3: 16
SES:
Maternal education: NR
Household income: NR
Diagnostic approach:
Referral, diagnosis was confirmed in study
Diagnostic tool/method:
ADI-R for G1 and G2; SCQ for G3
Diagnostic category, n (%):
High functioning autism:
G1: 5 (31)
G2: 1 (7)
G3: 2 (13)
Aspergers:
G1: 8 (50)
G2: 8 (53)
G3: 11 (69)
ASD:
G1: 2 (13)
G2: 4 (27)
G3: 2 (13)
Autism:
G1: 1 (6)
G2: 2 (13)
G3: 1 (6)
Other characteristics:
Educational support, n (%):
Part-time TA:
G1: 4 (25)
G2: 4 (27)
G3: 8 (50)
Full time TA:
G1: 7 (44)
G2: 4 (27)
G3: 2 (12.5)
Inclusion unit:
G1: 1 (6)
G2: 3 (20)
G3: 2 (12.5)
VABS communication score, mean ± SD
G1: 91.88 ± 18.83
G2: 83.13 ± 16.34
G3: 76.06 ± 17.17
G1/BL: P = NS
G2/BL: P < 0.01
G3/BL: P = NS
G1/G2: P = NS
G1/G3: P = NS
G2/G3: P = NS
VABS maladaptive behaviors score, mean ± SD
G1: 13.81 ± 5.23
G2: 16.69 ± 5.79
G3: 22.75 ± 5.52
G1/BL: P < 0.05
G2/BL: P = NS
G3/BL: P = NS
G1/G2: P = NS
G1/G3: P < 0.05
G2/G3: P < 0.05
Harms:
NR
Modifiers:
NR

Comments:

*

Participants initially only recruited for G1 and G2; G3 participants were recruited at a later date as part of another study and asked if their data could be used for this study in a no intervention control group sample.

**

In an unspecified subset of 21 of the 31 children in groups G1 and G2.

From: Appendix C, Evidence Tables

Cover of Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 26.
Warren Z, Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Stone W, et al.

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