Date of Submission

Spring 4-23-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Trinette Radasa

Second Advisor

Dr. Mahmoud Kaddoura


Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a chronic and developmental disorder that affects about one out of every 65 children in California, and one in 59 children in the United States. Children with ASD have difficulty communicating and interacting with others, and experience oversensitivity to new stimuli and environments.

Problem: In healthcare settings, children with ASD experience numerous challenges related to lack of adequate knowledge and education of staff regarding ASD, and lack of appropriate environmental and sensory resources which reduce quality of care provided to this population.

Objective: To analyze and evaluate the evidence regarding effective staff education and toolkit implementation, along with sensory room and items, and the potential impacts that these interventions can create to help mitigate this issue.

Methods: To help guide the project and literature search, a PICOT question was designed and used to search across relevant databases and journals using applicable key terms to identify studies from 2012 to 2020. Selected studies were analyzed using John Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Tools by Dang & Dearholt (2017).

Results: Initial search resulted in 4157 studies across the databases and 2097 results across the journals. After applying further criteria and removing duplicates, final yield was five articles. Analysis of the five studies identified guidelines/interventions addressing behavioral and social concerns, healthcare staff knowledge and education, and sensory and environment.

Conclusions: All five selected studies highlight the need and importance of implementing an educational toolkit for staff, and sensory room for children with ASD to streamline their care within healthcare settings.

Included in

Nursing Commons