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Self-guided mindfulness and cognitive behavioural practices reduce anxiety in autistic adults: A pilot 8-month waitlist-controlled trial of widely available online tools." in its current form for publication in Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice

Gaigg, S. B. ORCID: 0000-0003-2644-7145, Flaxman, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6417-2499, McLaven, G., Shah, R., Bowler, D. M. ORCID: 0000-0002-9884-0627, Meyer, B. J., Roestorf, A., Haenschel, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7855-2735, Rodgers, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-3365-6909 and 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." in its current form for publication in Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. Autism: the international journal of research and practice, doi: 10.1177/1362361320909184

Abstract

Anxiety in autism is an important treatment target because of its consequences for quality of life and wellbeing. Growing evidence suggests that Cognitive Behaviour Therapies (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Therapies (MBT) can ameliorate anxiety in autism but cost-effective delivery remains a challenge. This pilot randomized controlled trial examined whether online CBT and MBT self-help programmes could help reduce anxiety in 54 autistic adults who were randomly allocated to either an online CBT (n=16) or MBT (n=19) programme or a waitlist control group (WL; n=19). Primary outcome measures of anxiety, secondary outcome measures of broader wellbeing, and potential process of change variables were collected at baseline, after programme completion, and then 3 and 6 months post-completion. Baseline data confirmed that intolerance of uncertainty and emotional acceptance accounted for up to 61% of self-reported anxiety across all participants. The 23 participants who were retained in the active conditions (14 MBT, 9 CBT) showed significant decreases in anxiety that were maintained over 3, and to some extent also 6 months. Overall, results suggest that online self-help CBT and MBT tools may provide a cost-effective method for delivering mental health support to those autistic adults who can engage effectively with online support tools.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Autism. Re-use is restricted to non-commercial and no derivatives. Copyright © 2020, the authors.
Publisher Keywords: Autism; Anxiety; mindfulness; cognitive-behavioral therapy; online
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Journalism
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23892
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