The Faison-Quality of Life Questionnaire: A Brief Survey of Outcome and Indicators for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friday, May 13, 2016: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Hall A (Baltimore Convention Center)
E. T. Newcomb1 and R. K. Gilbert1,2, (1)The Faison School for Autism, Richmond, VA, (2)University of Richmond, University of Richmond, VA
Background: Given the high and increasing incidence rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is key for providers, families, and other stakeholders to possess a tool to measure an individual with ASD’s quality of life (QOL). Further, given the challenges and resources required to deliver and receive treatment, it is also important that such tool expeditiously capture important information within pivotal areas. Although a number of QOL survey tools and structured interview rating forms currently exist, none satisfied the general criteria set by the investigators, which included: a) Identifying something brief (to administer), b) Capturing information from a variety of important domains, and c) Utilizing something carefully tailored to individuals with ASD and related developmental disorders.

Objectives: To assess student health and wellness outcomes

Methods:  A 25-item questionnaire was created to quickly assess a student’s QOL. The QOL questionnaire contained five subsections: 1) Physical, 2) Emotional, 3) Behavioral, 4) Social, and 5) Independence. Questions were each arranged on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from strong agreement to strong disagreement, resulting in a range of scores from 25 (high QOL) to 100 (low QOL).The questionnaire was administered to 62 parents of children who attended a school for students with autism.

Results: Preliminary results indicated a number of commonalities between gender and age bracket subsets, as well as from subsection to subsection across participants. Further, results are discussed in terms of individual-family level implications as well as additional steps required to validate the questionnaire and assess reliability.

Conclusions:  This study is a strong preliminary step in exhibiting trends across physical, emotional, behavioral, social, and level of independence, quality of life-related outcomes amongst individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It also offers a viable metric tool that can be utilized in an educational setting to inform service providers.