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Purpose: 1) to compare autistic symptoms among autistic preschoolers before and after using the enhancing family caregiving ability program, and 2) to compare autistic symptoms among autistic preschoolers using the enhancing family caregiving ability program and those received usual nursing care.
Design: Quasi-experimental research
Methods: Research sample consisted of forty Autistic children, aged 3-6 and family receiving services in the outpatient clinic of Yuwaprasartwaithayopathum hospital, selected by inclusion criteria, were matched pair by sex of autistic children and type of medicine which autistic children received in the same type, then, equally randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group with 20 subjects in each group. The experimental group received the enhancing family caregiving ability program for 4 weeks. The control group received usual nursing care. The experimental instruments included the Enhancing Family Cargiving Abilty Program and the autism caring manual for family. Data were collected using the autistic symptoms assessment scale and the empowerment assessment scale. Its CVI were .92 and .80, respectively. Their Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were .96 and .89, respectively. The t-test was used in data analysis.
Findings: 1) The mean score of autistic symptoms after using the enhancing family caregiving program was significantly lower than those before, at the .01 level. 2) The mean score of autistic symptoms who received the enhancing family caregiving program was significantly decreased more than such mean score of autistic children who received usual nursing care, at the .01 level.
Conclusion: The result of this study support that the enhancing family caregiving program can reduce the autistic symptom among autistic preschoolers.
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