This paper utilised a sequential explanatory mixed-methods design comparing the experiences of 17 parents who use; and 23 parents who do not use psychotropic medicine for their children diagnosed with autism. The main objective is to identify the factors influencing their decision-making process. Quantitative analyses revealed that attitude towards treatment significantly differentiates parents who use (with more positive attitude levels) and parents who do not use (with more negative attitude levels) prescribed medicines. Furthermore, treatment attitude has been found to have significant association with three treatment decision variables. There was a low negative correlation with treatment cost and a high positive correlation with treatment belief and perceived behaviour severity. In the qualitative analysis, six factors were identified that influenced parents’ decision to use or not to use medicine: (1) perceived mental health condition; (2) perception towards autism diagnosis; (3) doctor’s prescription and recommendation; (4) beliefs and attitudes towards treatment; (5) perceived necessity and expectation of treatment decision which include perceived improvement of the child (from parents who decided to have both therapy and medication and from parents who decided to have only therapy); and, (6) the problems encountered. Integrating both the quantitative and qualitative data led to the formulation of a treatment decision model that explains the interaction of five major variables (child, parent, doctor, decision, and treatment) in the decision-making process from which the parent variable, specifically perception and beliefs towards treatment directs the decision to use on not to use such treatment.
The development of the Filipino Coping Strategies scale was based on the qualitative data on the resilience of Filipinos and the ways by which they cope with stressful life experiences and the quantitative data on foreign measures of coping. Integration of both data led to the formulation of nine coping strategies: cognitive reappraisal (pagsusuri), social support (paghingi ng tulong), problem-solving (pagtugon), religiosity (pagkarelihiyoso), tolerance (pagtitiis), emotional release (paglabas ng saloobin), overactivity (pagmamalabis), relaxation/recreation (paglilibang), and substance use (pagbibisyo). Initially, the scale was composed of 45 items with five items under each domain. This was pilot tested to 627 male and female Filipinos aged 18 above. Reliability analysis revealed items that are internally consistent with each other resulting in the reduction of items to 37. Furthermore, construct validity was established via a) factor analysis through principal components analysis extraction method and varimax rotation method and b) test for convergent validity by correlating each domain of the Filipino Coping Strategies scale with the corresponding domains of Ways of Coping by Folkman and Lazarus and the COPE Inventory by Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub. Independent samples t-test revealed significant differences among males and females in each coping strategy which served as the basis for norm groups. The Filipino Coping Strategies scale is a four-point Likert scale which aims to measure the coping strategies of Filipinos towards stress and generates a coping dispositional profile which can be used to aid in the assessment of coping behaviors.