The Therapeutic Alliance (TA) between patient and health provider (therapist or clinician) is one of the most relevant factors for the success of a therapy. In the case of people suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the alliance is extended to all the people involved in their care (i.e., teachers, therapists, clinicians, relatives). In this paper, we propose a multimedia application named Thea for empowering the TA of children with ASD by improving the communication among the TA members, sharing guidelines, multimedia contents, and strategies to comply with challenging behaviors and progress with particular attention towards end-users who are occasional smart-users. A detailed process for empowering the TA members by enhancing the informed interaction among all of them is proposed and implemented. A vocal assistant also supports patients/caregivers and therapists in documenting their activity with the person with ASD by recording videos in a free-hand modality. After a contextual analysis based on Thematic Analysis Template, Thea has been implemented using a user-centered development approach. We performed three iterations involving the end-users. A user study is performed at the third iteration. Results of the user study revealed a positive attitude towards the application. In particular, the perception of empowerment of participants increased after the tool had been used. We also highlighted the guidelines and tools that may be adopted for empowering different kinds of patients. The first results seem to suggest that the use of Thea may increase the belief of the caregivers of a person with ASD to be able to better take care of her, in a more controlled and informed way.

Thea: empowering the therapeutic alliance of children with ASD by multimedia interaction

Francese R.;Risi M.;Tortora G.;Di Salle F.
2021-01-01

Abstract

The Therapeutic Alliance (TA) between patient and health provider (therapist or clinician) is one of the most relevant factors for the success of a therapy. In the case of people suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the alliance is extended to all the people involved in their care (i.e., teachers, therapists, clinicians, relatives). In this paper, we propose a multimedia application named Thea for empowering the TA of children with ASD by improving the communication among the TA members, sharing guidelines, multimedia contents, and strategies to comply with challenging behaviors and progress with particular attention towards end-users who are occasional smart-users. A detailed process for empowering the TA members by enhancing the informed interaction among all of them is proposed and implemented. A vocal assistant also supports patients/caregivers and therapists in documenting their activity with the person with ASD by recording videos in a free-hand modality. After a contextual analysis based on Thematic Analysis Template, Thea has been implemented using a user-centered development approach. We performed three iterations involving the end-users. A user study is performed at the third iteration. Results of the user study revealed a positive attitude towards the application. In particular, the perception of empowerment of participants increased after the tool had been used. We also highlighted the guidelines and tools that may be adopted for empowering different kinds of patients. The first results seem to suggest that the use of Thea may increase the belief of the caregivers of a person with ASD to be able to better take care of her, in a more controlled and informed way.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4809774
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