Scoping Review of Interventions to Promote Social Participation in Adolescents and Young Adults with Neurodisability

Conall O'Rourke, Mark Linden, Gary Bedell

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Background: Social participation, described as taking part in, being involvement and engaged with, and doing or being with others, is an important health outcome. Adolescents and young adults withneurodisability are often restricted in their social participation, particularly if they experience social andexecutive functioning challenges. A scoping review was conducted to examine interventions aimed atimproving social participation in adolescents and young adults with neurodisability characterized by thesechallenges. Method: The scoping review included peer-reviewed empirical studies published from 1990 to 2016 that employed psychosocial interventions to improve social participation in young people 13 to 24 years ofage with acquired brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, and attention deficit disorders.Results: Narrative synthesis of 32 included studies highlighted significant variation in both the definitionand measurement of social participation outcomes. The lack of RCT studies with large samples wasnoted, with almost a third of the studies including fewer than 10 participants. The two dominant types ofintervention were peer mentoring and social skills training.Conclusion: There is a lack of rigorously tested interventions that specifically address social participationchallenges for individuals with neurodisability. Future research will need to be clearer in how socialparticipation is conceptualized and operationalized to allow for improved measurement and comparisonbetween studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages22
JournalThe Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020


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