Treating Children with ASD: The Perspective of Caregivers

Authors

  • Noor Breik College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • I fan Kuo College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Shawn Bugden College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Michael Moffat 2Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Silvia Alessi-Severini College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6543-7719

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18433/jpps29829

Abstract

Purpose: Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is challenging. Parents/caregivers’ perspective on the effectiveness of therapies and services available to their children is important but neglected in the literature on ASD.  This study investigated such perspective through questionnaire-guided interviews with a group of parents in the province of Manitoba (Canada). A secondary objective of the study was to explore how health care professionals and specifically pharmacists can assist in providing better care to children with ASD.  Methods: Informed consent was obtained from all participants. Data on diagnoses and prescribed medications were collected from medical charts. Parents/caregivers completed questionnaires during interviews scheduled at their convenience. Specific questions were asked to gather caregivers/parents’ perspectives on the effectiveness of medications and non-pharmacological interventions in controlling symptoms experienced by their children.  Information on access to education and health services was also assessed. Common themes were identified using thematic analysis. Results: All children attended school, 88% were males, 50% experienced eating/sleeping difficulties; 69% reported Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comorbidity. Risperidone was reported to be effective in controlling aggressive behaviours. Methylphenidate and aripiprazole were often discontinued. Melatonin and occupational therapy services were said to be very useful. Access to behavioural therapy was often limited. Parents were concerned about lack of trained professionals in schools, limited understanding of their children’s needs, and uncertainty for the future. Conclusions: Better education and awareness are necessary to help ASD children and their families. Pharmacists should explore opportunities to provide better services.

 

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Author Biographies

Noor Breik, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy

I fan Kuo, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Assistant Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy

 

Shawn Bugden, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Associate Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Michael Moffat, 2Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine

Silvia Alessi-Severini, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Associate Professor, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Adjunct Scientist, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

 

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Published

2018-05-07

How to Cite

Breik, N., Kuo, I. fan, Bugden, S., Moffat, M., & Alessi-Severini, S. (2018). Treating Children with ASD: The Perspective of Caregivers. Journal of Pharmacy &Amp; Pharmaceutical Sciences, 21(1s), 74s–87s. https://doi.org/10.18433/jpps29829

Issue

Section

Pharmacy Practice, Education & Socioeconomy Original Article