Mind-body therapies are often used by people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, there has been little examination into which types of mind-body therapies have been investigated for people with ASD and for what purposes. A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the existing evidence for mind-body therapies for people with ASD, particularly to determine the types of mind-body therapies used and the outcomes that are targeted.
PubMed, PsychInfo, and Scopus were searched using terms for ASD and mind-body therapies. Sixteen studies were selected for review; these studies tested interventions using mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Nei Yang Gong, and acceptance commitment therapy. Most study outcomes targeted behavior, psychological symptoms, and quality of life for children and adults with ASD as well as their parents.
There was little overlap between studies on the types of mind-body therapies used and associated outcomes, and only three of the studies were randomized controlled trials. Most studies were small and uncontrolled. Some studies modified the mind-body therapies to increase accessibility for people with ASD. Conclusion: The evidence for mind-body therapies for people with ASD is limited and would benefit from larger randomized controlled trials.
© Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2017.
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