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Taylor & Francis

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Issues in Mental Health Nursing

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Background: More than 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Caring for children with ASD can be stressful and can be detrimental to the well-being of the caregivers (CGs). However, the adverse effects of caregiving on the well-being of CGs may be avoided with appropriate interventions. CGs of persons with ASD might benefit from a positive thinking training (PTT) intervention to help them cope with the stress of caregiving. However, the necessity, acceptability and feasibility for PTT in ASD CGs have not been studied.

Objective: To examine the necessity, acceptability and feasibility of a six-week online PTT intervention designed to improve the well-being of the CGs.

Design: Random assignment of ASD CGs to one of two conditions: (1) PTT online intervention or (2) Control group.

Results: The mean score on the depressive cognition scale (DCS) was 20, indicating a high need of PTT to all enrolled CGs. High depressive cognitions in ASD CGs were associated with lower positive thinking (r = −.39; p

Conclusions: Examination of the fidelity and effectiveness of the PTT are the next steps in the refinement of this intervention.


Accepted version. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Vol. 38, No. 5 (2017): 443-448. DOI. © 2017 Taylor & Francis. Used with permission.

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