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Article

Effects of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Social Competence and Quality of Life: A Mixed Methods Study

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Research Group of Humanities and Qualitative Research in Health Science of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Hum&QRinHS), Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, 28922 Madrid, Spain
2
Faculty of Rehabilitation, Jozef Pilsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, 00-968 Warsaw, Poland
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Pediatric Brain Damage Unit, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, 46024 Valencia, Spain
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Rehabilitation Unit, Hospital de Guadarrama, 28440 Madrid, Spain
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Department of Physical Therapy, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, 28223 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3126; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063126
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 14 March 2021 / Accepted: 16 March 2021 / Published: 18 March 2021
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a constellation of social deficits and repetitive sensory-motor behaviours. Aquatic therapy (AT) may be effective in improving the social interactions and behaviours in children with ASD. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an AT program on social competence and quality of life and to understand participant’s experiences related to the intervention by obtaining qualitative data. A mixed methods intervention study was conducted among 6 children with ASD and their parents, with two research phases in a concurrent embedded design (an aquatic intervention as the quantitative design and a qualitative design in second step). The intervention and qualitative design followed international guidelines and were integrated into the method and reporting subheadings. Significant improvement was observed in the physical competence (p = 0.026) and important improvements in school functioning and aquatic skills, with no adverse events. Qualitative findings described: the meaning of AT intervention, patterns of behaviour and activities changes, social communication and social interaction. The aquatic intervention showed positive results for the social and physical competence, with elements of discordance, expansion, and confirmation between quantitative and qualitative results. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism; aquatic program; multimethod research; integration approaches autism; aquatic program; multimethod research; integration approaches
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MDPI and ACS Style

Güeita-Rodríguez, J.; Ogonowska-Slodownik, A.; Morgulec-Adamowicz, N.; Martín-Prades, M.L.; Cuenca-Zaldívar, J.N.; Palacios-Ceña, D. Effects of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Social Competence and Quality of Life: A Mixed Methods Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063126

AMA Style

Güeita-Rodríguez J, Ogonowska-Slodownik A, Morgulec-Adamowicz N, Martín-Prades ML, Cuenca-Zaldívar JN, Palacios-Ceña D. Effects of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Social Competence and Quality of Life: A Mixed Methods Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063126

Chicago/Turabian Style

Güeita-Rodríguez, Javier, Anna Ogonowska-Slodownik, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, Mar Lledó Martín-Prades, Juan Nicolás Cuenca-Zaldívar, and Domingo Palacios-Ceña. 2021. "Effects of Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on Social Competence and Quality of Life: A Mixed Methods Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 3126. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063126

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