The quality of single-case research for individuals with autism spectrum disorders in Japan and Taiwan: An investigation of inter-rater reliability and treatment fidelity Academic Article uri icon


  • Given this era of identification of evidence-based practices, previous reviews have provided a snapshot of the current status of the research quality of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-focused studies. However, including only studies in English language journals does not represent the quality of the literature published in journals of languages other than English. To evaluate the overall quality of ASD intervention research in non-English-language journals, this systematic review summarizes the current status and trends of interrater reliability (IRR) and treatment fidelity in ASD-focused singlecase research published in major academically oriented Japanese and Taiwanese special education journals. To conduct this review, the following three steps were taken: (a) literature search of the seven prominent special education journals in Japan and Taiwan, (b) assessment of potential studies against pre-set inclusion and exclusion criteria, and (c) study coding and analysis of descriptive study characteristics and measures of IRR and treatment fidelity. A total of 194 articles met the inclusion criteria for the review. The results show that an overall increasing trend in the number of articles that reported IRR data with acceptable levels were observed over time in the Japanese journals while no such trend was found in the Taiwanese journals. In contrast, it was found that no article published in the Japanese journals had reported treatment fidelity data while a small number of articles that reported treatment fidelity data with acceptable quality degrees were observed in the Taiwanese journals. As to the overall quality of ASD research, researchers in Japan and Taiwan are increasingly attending to quality with regard to collecting and reporting acceptable IRR data for outcome variables in their single-case autism-related articles. Yet, the evaluation of treatment fidelity and its IRR is still at the initial stage. To improve the overall quality of ASD intervention research, efforts should be made to report both IRR and treatment fidelity data based on the suggested standards with acceptable quality degrees in Asian-language journals.

published proceedings

  • Contemporary Educational Research Quarterly

author list (cited authors)

  • Hong, E. R., Tsai, S. P., Chen, P. Y., Gong, L. Y., & Ganz, J. B.

complete list of authors

  • Hong, ER||Tsai, SP||Chen, PY||Gong, LY||Ganz, JB

publication date

  • December 2017