Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Barbara McClaskey

Second Advisor

Janis Schiefelbein

Third Advisor

Jamie Wood

Fourth Advisor

Ryan Speelman


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a group of disorders that affects approximately 1 in 59 children (Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2019). This group of disorders can cause deficits in communication, social relationships, and those with the diagnosis may exhibit undesirable behaviors as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviors (RRBs). There is limited education given to healthcare providers on this group of disorders, making it difficult to care for these patients. This study was conducted to determine if the stress level of staff that directly care for patients with ASD, at a pediatric behavioral health hospital, decreased following an educational presentation over ASD. This study also researched if knowledge levels increased after the implementation of an educational presentation over ASD, and if the interventions suggested in the presentation were utilized following the presentation. The results were consistent with what was believed to occur which was that the stress levels of the staff did decrease following the educational presentation, the knowledge level increased between the pre-educational survey and the post-educational survey, and the interventions were utilized multiple times during the month in which the study took place. It is believed that the increase in knowledge over ASD, resulted in a decrease of stress in the staff, when caring for patients with ASD.

Included in

Nursing Commons