Assistance Dogs and Autism Ranking: Insufficient/Mixed evidence

Status Research

There are a number of significant limitations to all of the research studies published to date. For example

  • the majority of the studies (four out of six) had a very small number of participants (between one and 12)
  • the majority of the studies (four out of six ) did not use an experimental design (such as a randomised controlled trial)
  • the study that did use an experimental design (Groomes et al, 2014) was a non-blinded randomised controlled trial that only included 12 participants.
  • the study that used a controlled parental survey (Burgoyne et al, 2014) relied on findings based on self-reports and parents' / guardians' personal perceptions which are subject to participant overestimation, recall bias and possible subject expectancy effects.

For a comprehensive list of potential flaws in research studies, please see ‘Why some autism research studies are flawed’

26 Mar 2018
Last Review
23 Sep 2015
Next Review
01 Sep 2018