Early intervention for autism with a parent-delivered Qigong massage program: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Occup Ther. Sep-Oct 2011;65(5):550-9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.000661.


A recent randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a dual parent and trainer-delivered qigong massage intervention for young children with autism resulted in improvement of measures of autism as well as improvement of abnormal sensory responses and self-regulation. The RCT evaluated the effects of the parent-delivered component of the intervention. Forty-seven children were randomly assigned to treatment and wait-list control groups. Treatment group children received the parent-delivered program for 4 mo. Trained therapists provided parent training and support. Improvement was evaluated in two settings--preschool and home--by teachers (blind to group) and parents. Results showed that the parent-delivered program was effective in improving measures of autism (medium effect size) and sensory and self-regulatory responses (large effect size). Teacher data on measures of autism were confirmed by parent data. Results indicate that the parent-delivered component of the program provided effective early intervention for autism that was suitable for delivery at home.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Health Information
  • Early Medical Intervention*
  • Faculty
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schools
  • Treatment Outcome