Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of complex developmental disabilities which can cause behavior, social, and communication deficits. Anti-psychotic medications are often prescribed when symptoms such as aggression, irritability, hyperactivity, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior occur. Objective: To determine if anti-psychotic medications improve the behavior, social, and communication symptoms associated with ASD in children and adolescents. Search Strategy: Electronic literature searches were performed to find relevant studies and utilized the (1) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2) Hispanic American Periodicals Index, (3) Medline, (4) PAIS International, (5) ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, (6) PsycInfo, (7) PubMed, (8) Springer LINK, (9) Taylor and Francis Journals, and (10) Sage Premier. Selection Criteria: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-experimental design (QED) studies of any dose of an anti-psychotic medication compared to a placebo or other prescription drug, in participants with autism spectrum disorder. Data Collection and Analysis: All studies which met the full-text level criteria were reviewed by a third party to validate the decision of inclusion. Meta-analyses in this review implemented both random and fixed-effects models. Main Results: Ten RCTs were included. Six studies evaluated a drug versus a placebo and four studies investigated the effects of two separate anti-psychotic medications or the efficacy of an additive medication to a drug and placebo group. Author's Conclusions: Limited evidence suggests the effectiveness of anti-psychotic medications in treating the behavior, social, and associated with autism; however, further research is needed to determine the implications of long-term use.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Dissertations, Academic -- Office of Interdisciplinary Studies;Office of Interdisciplinary Studies -- Dissertations, Academic
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Honors in the Major Thesis
Velazquez, Raquel, "The efficacy of anti-psychotic medications in treating the behavior, social, and communication deficits associated with autism spectrum disorders in children and adolescents a systematic review" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1310.