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Weighted blankets and sleep in autistic children - A randomized controlled trial
Centre for Rehabilitation, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1129-8071
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2014 (English)In: Pediatrics, ISSN 0031-4005, E-ISSN 1098-4275, Vol. 134, no 2, 298-306 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effectiveness of a weighted-blanket intervention in treating severe sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

METHODS:

This phase III trial was a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. Participants were aged between 5 years and 16 years 10 months, with a confirmed ASD diagnosis and severe sleep problems, refractory to community-based interventions. The interventions were either a commercially available weighted blanket or otherwise identical usual weight blanket (control), introduced at bedtime; each was used for a 2-week period before crossover to the other blanket. Primary outcome was total sleep time (TST) recorded by actigraphy over each 2-week period. Secondary outcomes included actigraphically recorded sleeponset latency, sleep efficiency, assessments of child behavior, family functioning, and adverse events. Sleep was also measured by using parent-report diaries.

RESULTS:

Seventy-three children were randomized and analysis conducted on 67 children who completed the study. Using objective measures, the weighted blanket, compared with the control blanket, did not increase TST as measured by actigraphy and adjusted for baseline TST. There were no group differences in any other objective or subjective measure of sleep, including behavioral outcomes. On subjective preference measures, parents and children favored the weighted blanket.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of a weighted blanket did not help children with ASD sleep for a longer period of time, fall asleep significantly faster, or wake less often. However, the weighted blanket was favored by children and parents, and blankets were well tolerated over this period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Academy of Pediatrics , 2014. Vol. 134, no 2, 298-306 p.
Keyword [en]
Autism spectrum disorder, Children, Severe sleep problems, Total sleep time, Weighted blankets, actimetry, adolescent, article, autism, child, child behavior, clinical article, controlled study, crossover procedure, disease severity, family functioning, female, group therapy, human, information processing, male, multicenter study, outcome assessment, parent, phase 3 clinical trial, preschool child, priority journal, protective equipment, randomized controlled trial, sleep disorder, sleep parameters, sleep time, weighted blanket, Actigraphy, Bedding and Linens, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Child, Preschool, Comorbidity, Cross-Over Studies, Equipment Design, Humans, Intention to Treat Analysis, Sleep Disorders
National Category
Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37451DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-4285ISI: 000340266000056PubMedID: 25022743Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84905253292OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37451DiVA: diva2:1146047
Available from: 2017-10-02 Created: 2017-10-02 Last updated: 2017-10-02Bibliographically approved

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