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Questionnaires used in Complex Trauma Intervention Evaluations and Consideration of their Utility for Autistic Adults with Mild Intellectual Disability: A Systematic Review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sarah WighamORCiD, Dr Iain McKinnonORCiD, Professor Jacqueline Rodgers



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


Introduction : Research suggests some trauma symptoms e.g. avoidance are difficult to recognise in autistic people with intellectual disability while arousal/emotional and interpersonal difficulties may be useful signals. This review aims to (i) identify questionnaires used in general population complex trauma interventions to measure emotional and interpersonal difficulty and (ii) evaluate their psychometric properties to inform selection of a potential measure/s for use and/or adaptation for autistic people with mild intellectual disability and trauma related mental health conditions. Methods : Stage 1: we searched Medline, Cinahl, Embase and PsycInfo for general population and clinical complex trauma intervention studies. Stage 2: we used a search filter in Embase to identify psychometric evaluations of relevant questionnaires used in Stage 1 studies and assessed these with the COnsensus based Standards for the selection of health based Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist. Results : five studies were identified in Stage 1 utilising three measures of emotion dysregulation and interpersonal difficulties. Thirty-three articles on their psychometric properties were identified in Stage 2. Strongest psychometric evidence was found for the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. Conclusions : Evaluating content validity/acceptability of the ERQ and DERS for autistic people with mild intellectual disability and trauma-related mental health conditions are useful next steps

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wigham S, McKinnon I, Reid K, Milton D, Lingam R, Rodgers J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Research in Developmental Disabilities

Year: 2021

Volume: 117

Print publication date: 01/10/2021

Online publication date: 24/07/2021

Acceptance date: 13/07/2021

Date deposited: 13/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0891-4222

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3379

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104039


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