Quality of life of Taiwanese adults with autism spectrum disorder

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To date, few recent studies have investigated the quality of life of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It remains unclear how individuals with ASD view their own quality of life.

Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to compare the quality of life scores among adults with ASD with those of a non-ASD control group and the Taiwanese health population reference group.

Methods: The study comprised 41 adults with ASD (M age = 26.9, SD = 5.0), and without intellectual disabilities (IQ>70). A comparison sample of 41 adults without ASD was selected by matching the age and sex of the participants with ASD. A validated measure, the Taiwanese version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF), was used. Independent t-tests were performed to examine the differences in the quality of life between groups.

Results: The highest quality of life was scored in the environment domain, followed by the physical health and psychological health domains. The lowest quality of life score was found in the social relationship domain. Adults with ASD scored significantly lower in all domains than did the non-ASD control group. Additionally, adults with ASD scored significantly lower in the physical health, psychological health, and social relationship domains than did the Taiwanese health population reference group. Comorbid psychiatric disorders, self-rated health status, and perceived happiness were correlated with quality of life among adults with ASD.

Conclusion: The preliminary findings suggest that adults with ASD need more supportive social contexts and interventions to promote their quality of life. Based on our findings, social relationship must be considered in designing and applying treatment programs for adults with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere109567
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 9

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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