Does Hydrotherapy Impact Behaviours Related to Mental Health and Well-Being for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

A Randomised Crossover-Controlled Pilot Trial

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

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Abstract

Background: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are less physically active than typically developing children due to reduced socialisation and delayed gross-motor skills, negatively impacting social, emotional and physical well-being. This study aimed to determine whether hydrotherapy influences behaviours which impact mental health and well-being in children
with ASD. Methods: A within-subjects, randomised crossover-controlled pilot trial was used over 8 weeks. Children aged 6–12 years and diagnosed with ASD (n = 8) were randomly allocated to Group 1 (n = 4) or Group 2 (n = 4). All children participated in hydrotherapy intervention from either weeks 1 to 4 or weeks 5 to 8. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) measured behaviour changes impacting mental health and well-being, administered at weeks 0, 4 and 8. Results: No observable differences were found in CBCL subscales between Group 1 or 2 at baseline (week 0). Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant improvements post-intervention: Anxious/Depressed subdomain (p = 0.02) and
the Internalising Problems Domain Summary (p = 0.026), with large effect size (d = 1.03 and d = 1.06 respectively). Thought Problems (p = 0.03) and Attention Problems (p = 0.01) both significantly improved post-intervention. The Total Problems score significantly improved post-intervention (p = 0.018) with a large effect size (d = 1.04). Conclusion: Hydrotherapy may enhance behaviours impacting mental health and well-being of children with ASD and could be considered a beneficial therapy option.
Original languageEnglish
Article number558
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020

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Hydrotherapy
Mental Health
Child Behavior
Checklist
Motor Skills
Socialization
Autism Spectrum Disorder

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@article{f8ca4a83542147fa90dbc5659cf913f6,
title = "Does Hydrotherapy Impact Behaviours Related to Mental Health and Well-Being for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?: A Randomised Crossover-Controlled Pilot Trial",
abstract = "Background: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are less physically active than typically developing children due to reduced socialisation and delayed gross-motor skills, negatively impacting social, emotional and physical well-being. This study aimed to determine whether hydrotherapy influences behaviours which impact mental health and well-being in childrenwith ASD. Methods: A within-subjects, randomised crossover-controlled pilot trial was used over 8 weeks. Children aged 6–12 years and diagnosed with ASD (n = 8) were randomly allocated to Group 1 (n = 4) or Group 2 (n = 4). All children participated in hydrotherapy intervention from either weeks 1 to 4 or weeks 5 to 8. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) measured behaviour changes impacting mental health and well-being, administered at weeks 0, 4 and 8. Results: No observable differences were found in CBCL subscales between Group 1 or 2 at baseline (week 0). Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant improvements post-intervention: Anxious/Depressed subdomain (p = 0.02) andthe Internalising Problems Domain Summary (p = 0.026), with large effect size (d = 1.03 and d = 1.06 respectively). Thought Problems (p = 0.03) and Attention Problems (p = 0.01) both significantly improved post-intervention. The Total Problems score significantly improved post-intervention (p = 0.018) with a large effect size (d = 1.04). Conclusion: Hydrotherapy may enhance behaviours impacting mental health and well-being of children with ASD and could be considered a beneficial therapy option.",
author = "Whitney Mills and Nicholas Kondakis and Orr, {Rob Marc} and Michael Warburton and Nikki Milne",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "15",
doi = "10.3390/ijerph17020558",
language = "English",
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journal = "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health",
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Does Hydrotherapy Impact Behaviours Related to Mental Health and Well-Being for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder? A Randomised Crossover-Controlled Pilot Trial. / Mills, Whitney; Kondakis, Nicholas ; Orr, Rob Marc; Warburton, Michael ; Milne, Nikki.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 17, No. 2, 558, 15.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Does Hydrotherapy Impact Behaviours Related to Mental Health and Well-Being for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

T2 - A Randomised Crossover-Controlled Pilot Trial

AU - Mills, Whitney

AU - Kondakis, Nicholas

AU - Orr, Rob Marc

AU - Warburton, Michael

AU - Milne, Nikki

PY - 2020/1/15

Y1 - 2020/1/15

N2 - Background: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are less physically active than typically developing children due to reduced socialisation and delayed gross-motor skills, negatively impacting social, emotional and physical well-being. This study aimed to determine whether hydrotherapy influences behaviours which impact mental health and well-being in childrenwith ASD. Methods: A within-subjects, randomised crossover-controlled pilot trial was used over 8 weeks. Children aged 6–12 years and diagnosed with ASD (n = 8) were randomly allocated to Group 1 (n = 4) or Group 2 (n = 4). All children participated in hydrotherapy intervention from either weeks 1 to 4 or weeks 5 to 8. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) measured behaviour changes impacting mental health and well-being, administered at weeks 0, 4 and 8. Results: No observable differences were found in CBCL subscales between Group 1 or 2 at baseline (week 0). Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant improvements post-intervention: Anxious/Depressed subdomain (p = 0.02) andthe Internalising Problems Domain Summary (p = 0.026), with large effect size (d = 1.03 and d = 1.06 respectively). Thought Problems (p = 0.03) and Attention Problems (p = 0.01) both significantly improved post-intervention. The Total Problems score significantly improved post-intervention (p = 0.018) with a large effect size (d = 1.04). Conclusion: Hydrotherapy may enhance behaviours impacting mental health and well-being of children with ASD and could be considered a beneficial therapy option.

AB - Background: Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are less physically active than typically developing children due to reduced socialisation and delayed gross-motor skills, negatively impacting social, emotional and physical well-being. This study aimed to determine whether hydrotherapy influences behaviours which impact mental health and well-being in childrenwith ASD. Methods: A within-subjects, randomised crossover-controlled pilot trial was used over 8 weeks. Children aged 6–12 years and diagnosed with ASD (n = 8) were randomly allocated to Group 1 (n = 4) or Group 2 (n = 4). All children participated in hydrotherapy intervention from either weeks 1 to 4 or weeks 5 to 8. The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) measured behaviour changes impacting mental health and well-being, administered at weeks 0, 4 and 8. Results: No observable differences were found in CBCL subscales between Group 1 or 2 at baseline (week 0). Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant improvements post-intervention: Anxious/Depressed subdomain (p = 0.02) andthe Internalising Problems Domain Summary (p = 0.026), with large effect size (d = 1.03 and d = 1.06 respectively). Thought Problems (p = 0.03) and Attention Problems (p = 0.01) both significantly improved post-intervention. The Total Problems score significantly improved post-intervention (p = 0.018) with a large effect size (d = 1.04). Conclusion: Hydrotherapy may enhance behaviours impacting mental health and well-being of children with ASD and could be considered a beneficial therapy option.

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VL - 17

JO - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

JF - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

SN - 1660-4601

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