Dissemination of evidence-based practice: can we train therapists from a distance?

J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Dec;39(12):1636-51. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0796-2. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


Although knowledge about the efficacy of behavioral interventions for children with ASD is increasing, studies of effectiveness and transportability to community settings are needed. The current study conducted an effectiveness trial to compare distance learning vs. live instruction for training community-based therapists to implement the Early Start Denver Model. Findings revealed: (a) distance learning and live instruction were equally effective for teaching therapists to both implement the model and to train parents; (b) didactic workshops and team supervision were required to improve therapists' skill use; (c) significant child gains occurred over time and across teaching modalities; and (d) parents implemented the model more skillfully after coaching. Implications are discussed in relation to the economic and clinical utility of distance learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Practice / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Psychotherapy / education*