Comparing residential programmes for adults with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability: outcomes of challenging behaviour and quality of life
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Special Issue: Part Two: Residential and Community Support (Edited by Roy I. Brown and Trevor R. Parmenter)
Volume 55, Issue 9, pages 918–932, September 2011
How to Cite
Gerber, F., Bessero, S., Robbiani, B., Courvoisier, D. S., Baud, M. A., Traoré, M.-C., Blanco, P., Giroud, M. and Galli Carminati, G. (2011), Comparing residential programmes for adults with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability: outcomes of challenging behaviour and quality of life. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55: 918–932. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2011.01455.x
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2011
- Accepted 28 June 2011
- Aberrant Behaviour Checklist;
- autism spectrum disorders;
- challenging behaviours;
- intellectual disability;
- quality of life
Background Owing to methodological issues, little research has been conducted to examine quality of life (QoL) as a treatment outcome in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID). This study was conducted to combine QoL measures and objective observations of challenging behaviours (CB) in order to evaluate changes over time in adults with ASD and ID who were treated in two different residential programmes; we hypothesised that a decrease in CB would be related to an improved QoL.
Method In a longitudinal study (45 months), we followed 31 adults with ASD and ID who had been integrated into two residential programmes [Autism Programme with a Structured Method (PAMS) vs. traditional programme for ID (No-PAMS)] for 2–19 years. QoL [Quality of Life Inventory in a Residential Environment (IQVMR)] and severity of autistic features (Childhood Autism Rating Scales) were evaluated annually. CB, as measured by the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist (ABC), including stereotypic behaviour and inappropriate speech, were repeatedly assessed every 3 months.
Results Observed separately, the groups' results were different. In the PAMS programme, stereotypic behaviour and inappropriate speech (ABC scores) significantly decreased, and the IQVMR total score increased; in contrast, in the comparison group, ABC scores did not change and the IQVMR total score decreased. In all, three mixed-effect ANCOVAs partially confirmed that the PAMS programme had an effect on CB and that QoL improvement did not directly depend on the type of programme but on reducing CB as measured by the ABC.
Conclusion The PAMS programme has a positive and indirect influence on QoL by reducing CB.