A Pilot Observational Study of an Acupressure/Acupuncture Intervention in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
J Altern Complement Med. 2017 May 22. Epub 2017 May 22. PMID: 28530441
Lana R Warren
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) would tolerate an acupressure/acupuncture intervention and whether parents would adhere to a twice-weekly, 8-week intervention protocol. Second, to further understand best measures to use to capture impact of intervention on behavioral and regulatory functions.
DESIGN: This is an observational pilot study with pre-, mid-, and postintervention measures.
SETTINGS/LOCATION: The intervention was carried out in a private practice office in a large metropolitan area.
SUBJECTS: A total of 10 children of ages 3-10 years with ASD and one of their parents participated.
INTERVENTIONS: A total of 16 biweekly treatment sessions of acupressure and/or acupuncture were carried out by a licensed acupuncturist, and a daily home-based acupressure intervention was carried out by a parent.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Attendance, tolerance of intervention, parent compliance with home program, and parent compliance in completing daily diary and five standardized measures of behavioral and regulatory functions pre-, mid-, and postintervention were recorded.
RESULTS: The 10 children in this observational study, collectively, tolerated the intervention and parents adhered to the 16 sessions, biweekly protocol, and home protocol, as well as completing daily diary and five standardized measures at three different time intervals. The five measurements appeared to be sensitive to behavioral and regulatory functions that may improve with this type of intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this observational pilot study suggest that acupressure/acupuncture is a feasible intervention for children with ASD that merits rigorous evaluation through a randomized controlled trial.