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The adoption of evidence-based practice in nursing involves research on the efficiency and effectiveness of a nursing practice being adopted by practitioners in improving the health of the patient. The evidence collected through research is incorporated with other factors such as clinical expertise and patient preference in determining the suitability of the treatment choice. The paper will review an evidence-based research paper on Autism spectrum disorder.

The article titled Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder is published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Wong et al.2013). The paper meets all the guidelines stipulated in the Eight International Congress on Peer Review and Biomedical publication that issued the standards varied from September 2012 to 2017 for a medical journal to be regarded as peer reviewed. The Authors of the article are Connie Wong, Samuel L. Odom, Kara Hume, Ann W. Cox, Angel Fettig, Suzanne Kucharczyk, Matthew E. Brock, Joshua B. Plavnick, Veronica P. Fleury and Tia R. Schultz (Wong et al.2013). The article was published in the year 2013 and was in collaboration with the United States Department of Education, the Office of Special Education Programs and the Institute of Education Science.

The peer-reviewed article identifies the increased research on Autism Spectrum Disorder, also commonly referred to (ASD) in nursing practice, as concerned parties aim at educating and improving the care for children and youths suffering from the disorder. The authors recognize there are two main broad categories of interventions in the existing literature, them being either comprehensive treatment models or focused intervention models (Wong et al.2013). The main purpose of the research is hereby to outline the identification process of evidence-based practices by describing the activities with sufficient practical support in achieving better outcomes for the learners suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder. The concern for the authors of the article is therefore whether the various activities and processes employed by researchers in focused intervention practices approach provide considerable empirical proof to be categorized as evidence based in relation to autism spectrum disorder.

The authors adopt a quantitative methodology by using secondary data as their sources of data in the evidence-based practice review. The total number of published articles that was selected at first was 29,105 (Wong et al.2013). The most basic sampling method, simple random sampling is chosen by the authors. The choice of the data to be used in the research is done through the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Only peer-reviewed articles published between the year 1990 and 2011 were utilized in the research (Wong et al.2013). The articles had also to use a population that aged between birth and 22 years and that was suffering from the Autism Spectrum Disorder in their study. Also for a study to be included in the review, the focused interventions practices adopted had to focus on the behavioral, developmental and educational variables.

For inclusion, the articles also must have adopted a study design that gives a comparison between an experimental or treatment condition, with one where no treatment was implemented or where an alternative intervention was adopted. The study design had also to adopt an experimental group design, quasi-experimental design or single-case design (Wong et al.2013). Possible outcomes for the included study had to be behavioral, developmental or academic for the article to be included. These articles were obtained using some search terms such as diagnostic and intervention. Qualification terms for diagnostics include autism, Asperger or pervasive developmental disorder whereas those for intervention include therapy, practice, intervention, treatment, program or procedure. After 29,105 articles were selected, several reviews of the title, abstract and full-text, only 456 articles were used and included in the evidence-based review.

The results collected from all the 456 articles showed that 48 articles used employed a group design (Wong et al.2013). Of the remaining 408, 183 employed multiple baseline designs with 57 being classified as mixed design. The participants from the study were majorly identified as children aged between 6 to 11 years with those between 3 to 5 years also participating. The formal diagnosis had revealed 387 participants were suffering from autism. The co-occurring conditions were a minority with the most frequent being the intellectual disability at 25.4%.

For the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, 165 studies had social challenging behavior, 182 communication challenges and 158 had challenges in academic (Wong et al.2013). Results also pointed out at 27 of the practices employed in the articles as meeting the evidence-based criteria. The practices are clearly explained in the findings category and include Antecedent, Cognitive behavior, differential reinforcement, extinction, functional behavior assessment, parent-implemented, reinforcement and prompting (Wong et al.2013). The age of the participants was also taken into consideration while carrying out the analysis. A result of the analysis discovered that parent-implemented interventions and naturalistic intervention are often employed among children.

The conclusion from the research was that additional interventions were found to be critical to improving the health status of autistic patients. Some of those interventions include technology-aided instruction and intervention, structured playground, scripting, modeling and exercise (Wong et al.2013). The cause of such changes included technological improvement and accumulation of more evidence. Other practices were also found to be relevant to the study such as idiosyncratic behavioral intervention package but were not classified as evidence-based practice despite some of them borrowing the concept of evidence-based learning. Others practices such as corrective reading thinking failed to meet the criteria for evidence-based practice even though they had well-defined procedures.

The articles indicate its limitations that include the failure to borrow literature that occurred before 1990 and also the delay in the publication of the research since the end date of data correction was on 2011 but the publication date was 2014 (Wong et al.2013). The literature also fails to issue intervention measures for autistic adults since the data corrected was from infants and children to 22 years.

The practitioners can employ the results gathered from the review to design a comprehensive evidence-based program to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Wong et al.2013). The study also reveals gaps in the study on the employment of focused intervention practices for children and youth suffering from the condition hereby recommending for further research. More focus should also be paid to other factors of individual participants such as race, ethnicity and social economic status on the intervention method chosen.

The results and the conclusion from the study stay relevant to the original purpose of the study explaining the identification process of evidence-based practices and outlines the interventions by giving sufficient empirical support. A lesson for the learner is that the further a practice is from achieving the minimum criteria, the greater the caution should be when adopting such practice.


Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., … Schultz, T. R. (2013). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: A comprehensive review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders45(7), 1951-1966.

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