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Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models
for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
R.2 Research Study Print E-mail

R.2: Systematic Review on School to Work Transition
This research activity consists of a systematic review of empirical literature describing effectiveness school-to- work interventions for people with ASD. The Campbell Collaboration (C2) data collection and analysis guidelines will be used for this study. Outcomes from this study will increase evidence-based knowledge that can be used in selecting strategies for improving transition and employment outcomes for individuals.


Overview

This research activity consists of a systematic review of empirical literature describing effectiveness school-to-work interventions for people with ASD. The Campbell Collaboration (C2) data collection and analysis guidelines will be used for this study. Outcomes from this study will increase evidence-based knowledge that can be used in selecting strategies for improving transition and employment outcomes for individuals.

What is the purpose of this study?
To increase knowledge of  transition behavior management and communication-facilitating interventions that are effective and transportable to work settings for consumers with ASD.


What is a systematic review?

A systematic review is a “scientific tool which can be used to summarize, appraise, and communicate the results and implications of otherwise unmanageable quantities of research” (NHS CRD, 2001). Systematic reviews follow a rigorous process involving specific criteria for research quality and reliability.


How do systematic reviews differ from traditional literature reviews?

A systematic review involves the careful delineation of the research question to be addressed by the review; identification of rigorous criteria for the inclusion or exclusion of studies to be reviewed; exhaustive searches of the literature to identify potential studies for inclusion; screening of the studies according to the review criteria; and analysis and reporting of findings, including, where sufficient quantitative data are available, meta-analysis of data (Turner & Nye, 2007).


How will studies be located?

A wide variety of strategies and sources will be employed to identify relevant studies, including online databases (PsycINFO, Web of Science, Academic Search, and others), search engines (e.g. Google Scholar), evidence-based collections (e.g. Campbell Collaboration’s C2-RIPE), meta search engines (e.g. InfoGrid), journals (e.g. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders), personal or published bibliographies, conference proceedings  (e.g. National Conference on Autism Conference Proceedings), book chapters, books, and grey literature. The systematic review is international in scope.


Who is on the review team?

The review team will consist of John D. Westbrook, Chad Nye, Carlton Fong, Tara Cortopassi, and Ann Williams.  In addition, Nancy Reynolds, MLS, a librarian from SEDL will participate in the project.


How will the findings be aggregated?

Each study collected for review will be appraised using the PEDro Scale
(1999), which consists of 11 criteria based on expert opinion of characteristics thought to be related to study quality. A coding manual will be developed that defines variables to be extracted from the reviewed studies. An associated coding form will also be developed for use by two SEDL reviewers who will work independently. Spot-checking by a third reviewer will occur on a portion of the studies to estimate reliability. The research team will use Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Biostat, 2007) software to facilitate calculations and determine effect sizes.


What is the intended outcome from this study?

Results from the systematic review will foster several outcomes. The systematic review can increase awareness and knowledge among consumers, VR professionals, service providers, policymakers on school-to-work transition or other school-based pre-employment preparation programs for individuals with ASD. Interventions identified from the review can be used in selecting strategies for improving policies and employment outcomes for individuals with ASD. In addition, a comprehensive review will uncover gaps in the knowledge base on school-to-work transition that need to be addressed by new research.