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A Mixed-method Evaluation Of The Feasibility And Acceptability Of A Telehealth-based Parent-mediated Intervention For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Katherine E Pickard, Allison L Wainer, Kathryn M Bailey, Brooke R Ingersoll

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Research within the autism spectrum disorder field has called for the use of service delivery models that are able to more efficiently disseminate evidence-based practices into community settings. This study employed telehealth methods in order to deliver an Internet-based, parent training intervention for autism spectrum disorder, ImPACT Online. This study used mixed-methods analysis to create a more thorough understanding of parent experiences likely to influence the adoption and implementation of the program in community settings. Specific research questions included (1) What are parents’ perceptions of the online program? (2) How does ImPACT Online compare to other services that parents are accessing for their children? And (3) Do parents’ experience in, and perceptions of, the program differ based on whether they received a therapist-assisted version of the program? Results from 28 parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder indicate that parents saw improvements in their child’s social communication skills and their own competence during the course of the program, regardless of whether they received therapist assistance. However, qualitative interviews indicate that parents who received therapist assistance were more likely endorse the acceptability and observability of the program. These findings support the potential for Internet-based service delivery to more efficiently disseminate evidence-based parent training interventions for autism spectrum disorder.