ACB Development

Development
of an Assessment of Concerning Behaviour
(ACB)

Project title:  Development and validation of a questionnaire to assess concerning behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): The Assessment of Concerning Behaviour Scale (ACB).

Lead Investigators: Dr Paramala Santosh & Professor Emily Simonoff

Research Team: Natalie Heaney, Mathilde Mastroianni, Joanne Tarver, Ellie Bennett

Purpose of the study:

  • It is common for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to have comorbid concerning behaviours. It can be difficult for clinicians to identify these behaviours and to assess any factors which may be contributing towards them.
  • Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop and validate a questionnaire to help clinicians identify concerning behaviours in individuals with ASD, and to help guide intervention plans accordingly.
  • The questionnaire will be called the ‘Assessment of Concerning Behaviour Scale’ (ACB).

Outline of the study:

  • There are two main stages to the study; (1) the ACB questionnaire development stage and (2) the ACB questionnaire validation stage:
  1. Development Stage
  • The development stage will involve participants attending a two hour focus group, along with a short follow up phone interview.
  • There will be separate groups for children, young people and adults with ASD, parents of individuals with ASD, and teachers and clinicians who work with individuals with ASD.
  • The focus groups and interviews will aim to identify the concerning behaviours that the ACB should try to capture, and to assess any wording, formatting and presentation aspects of the ACB.
  • All participants will receive a £20 high street voucher for taking part in the focus groups
  1. Validation Stage
  • The findings from the development stage focus groups and interviews will guide the development of the final version of the ACB questionnaire.
  • The validation stage will ask individuals with ASD, along with their parent/guardian (or relative/partner where appropriate), teacher or employer and clinician to complete the ACB questionnaire online, along with a few other questionnaires.
  • We will ask participants to repeat their questionnaire completion 4-6 months after their first completion.
  • All participants who complete both sets of questionnaires will be entered into a prize draw to win one of 12 tablets.
  • We will also be asking a subsample of participants if they would be willing to repeat the questionnaire completion one week after the initial completion.

Recruitment:

  • We will be recruiting children, young people and adults with ASD, parents of individuals with ASD, and teachers and clinicians who work with individuals with ASD for the development stage focus groups and telephone interviews.
  • We will be recruiting children, young people and adults with ASD, along with their parent/guardian (or relative/partner where appropriate), teacher or employer and clinician for the validation stage questionnaire completion.

Clinicians (who work at South London and Maudsley and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trusts) may help to invite participants to the project or help to identify willing participants for researchers to invite themselves. Researchers will also be putting up poster advertisements, social media advertisements, and general media advertisements and writing letters to schools to try to recruit potential participants.

 

Where we are currently at with the study:

  • We have started conducting focus groups and hope to finish them by the end of June

If you are interested in taking part…

  • If you are interested in taking part in, and/or hearing more about, the project please contact the research workers via email ([email protected] or [email protected]) or via telephone (020 7848 5838).