notes (if applicable):
|Why this is important:- Anxiety disorders commonly coexist in people with autism and are associated with poorer health outcomes and quality of life. This may occur because of the direct impact of the anxiety but also because of a negative interaction with the core symptoms of autism. There is limited access and poor uptake of psychological treatment services by people with autism, largely due to limited availability but also because current systems for the delivery of such interventions are not adapted for use for people with autism. In adults without autism, CBT is an effective intervention for moderate to severe anxiety disorders. The adaptation of CBT for adults with autism and a coexisting anxiety disorder could make effective interventions more widely available.
The suggested programme of research would need to: (a) develop current methods for the
delivery of CBT to take into account the impact of autism and the nature and duration of the
intervention; (b) test the feasibility of the novel treatments in a series of pilot studies (for the
commonly experienced anxiety disorders in autism); and (c) formally evaluate the outcomes
(including symptoms, satisfaction and quality of life) in a large-scale randomised controlled trial.