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Autism Spectrum Social Stories in Schools Trial (ASSSIST): Study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial analysing clinical and cost-effectiveness of Social Stories in mainstream schools

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Joy Adamson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Introduction: Current evidence suggests that Social Stories can be effective in tackling problem behaviours exhibited by children with autism spectrum disorder. Exploring the meaning of behaviour from a child's perspective allows stories to provide social information that is tailored to their needs. Case reports in children with autism have suggested that these stories can lead to a number of benefits including improvements in social interactions and choice making in educational settings. Methods and analysis: The feasibility of clinical and cost-effectiveness of a Social Stories toolkit will be assessed using a randomised control framework. Participants (n=50) will be randomised to either the Social Stories intervention or a comparator group where they will be read standard stories for an equivalent amount of time. Statistics will be calculated for recruitment rates, follow-up rates and attrition. Economic analysis will determine appropriate measures of generic health and resource use categories for cost-effectiveness analysis. Qualitative analysis will ascertain information on perceptions about the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. Ethics and dissemination: National Health Service Ethics Approval (NHS; ref 11/YH/0340) for the trial protocol has been obtained along with NHS Research and Development permission from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. All adverse events will be closely monitored, documented and reported to the study Data Monitoring Ethics Committee. At least one article in a peer reviewed journal will be published and research findings presented at relevant conferences. Trial registration number: ISRCTN96286707.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wright B, Marshall D, Moore DC, Ainsworth H, Hackney L, Adamson J, Ali S, Allgar V, Cook L, Dyson L, Littlewood E, Hargate R, McLaren A, McMillan D, Trepel D, Whitehead J, Williams C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2014

Volume: 4

Issue: 7

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Online publication date: 09/07/2014

Acceptance date: 26/06/2014

Date deposited: 23/01/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005952

PubMed id: 25009139


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