Does Hydrotherapy Have A Positive Impact On The Wellbeing Of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder?

W Mills, Nicholas Kondakis, Nikki Milne, Rob Marc Orr, Michael Warburton

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Aim: To investigate the effectiveness of a four-week hydrotherapy program aimed at improving social, psychological, and emotional wellbeing of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Design: Within-subjects, randomised crossover trial where children with Autism Spectrum Disorder participated in a 4-week intervention period and acted as their own controls over a corresponding 4-week control period
Methods: Eight children (males: n = 6; females: n = 2, mean age = 8.72 ± 1.99 years) with Autism Spectrum Disorder were randomised into two groups (Group 1, n=4; Group 2, n=4). Each child participated in a 45-minute hydrotherapy session (intervention), once per week over 4 weeks. The Child Behaviour Checklist was completed by parents at weeks 0,4 and 8 to measure changes in wellbeing across the intervention and control periods. Mean change scores for intervention periods were compared to change scores for control periods using paired samples t-tests.
Results: Significant differences in mean change scores for: Total Problems (p=0.03) domain, Internalising Problems domain (p= 0.05), Anxious/Depressed syndrome (p=0.05) and Attention Problems syndrome (p=0.03) were found suggesting an improvement during the intervention period above that of the control period.
Conclusion: Hydrotherapy can enhance emotional and psychological wellbeing of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and could be considered as a beneficial therapy option, either alone or in conjunction with other therapy modalities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017
EventAPA National Physiotherapy Conference MOMENTUM 2017 - Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 19 Oct 201721 Oct 2017


ConferenceAPA National Physiotherapy Conference MOMENTUM 2017
Abbreviated titleAPA
OtherAustralian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Momentum 2017 is organized by Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and would be held during Oct 19 - 21, 2017 at Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The target audience for this medical meeting basically for Physicians.

Physiotherapists have always been innovators in health, pushing forward to deliver excellent patient outcomes.

As the healthcare landscape becomes more competitive, it is important to keep moving with the changes. MOMENTUM 2017, the APA national conference will empower you to be part of the future of Australian and global physiotherapy.

Join with the rest of the profession to hear from leaders in physiotherapy about the latest clinical research. Meet the people you need to know to help you grow in your profession and discover the newest innovations.


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