Navigation Links
Autistic adults report significant shortcomings in their health care

PORTLAND, Ore. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have found that adults with autism, who represent about 1 percent of the adult population in the United States, report significantly worse health care experiences than their non-autistic counterparts.

"Like other adults, adults on the autism spectrum need to use health care services to prevent and treat illness. As a primary care provider, I know that our health care system is not always set up to offer high-quality care to adults on the spectrum; however, I was saddened to see how large the disparities were. We really need to find better ways to serve them," said Christina Nicolaidis, M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator and associate professor of medicine (general internal medicine and geriatrics) at OHSU.

The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was conducted by the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE), an academic-community partnership where academic investigators, autistic adults and other community members work together throughout the project.

Nicolaidis and colleagues surveyed 209 autistic adults and 228 non-autistic adults through a secure registration system for online studies. Autistic adults reported greater unmet health care needs, higher use of the emergency department, and lower rates of preventive services such as Pap smears. They also reported poorer satisfaction with provider communication and lower comfort in navigating the health care system or managing their health.

"While I am discouraged by the findings, I am also encouraged by the direct involvement of the autistic community in all parts of this project. In order to ensure research that is truly useful to autistic adults, it is critical to involve us directly in the process," noted Dora Raymaker, AASPIRE's community co-director.

The study also has important implications related to changes in the newly released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which combined Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified into one new category of Autism Spectrum Disorder. There has been considerable controversy over the new criteria, with some studies predicting a significant reduction in the number of people who will meet criteria, especially among those with Asperger's disorder or without intellectual disabilities.

"The existence of health care disparities in our sample, most of whom had diagnoses of Asperger's and/or high educational attainment, highlights the possible negative consequences of stricter criteria. Not having a diagnosis may deprive patients and their providers of insights, strategies, and accommodations to improve health care experiences," explained Nicolaidis.


Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
Oregon Health & Science University

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental Drug Eases Autistic Behaviors in Mice
2. Battling the Bullying of an Autistic Child
3. Teaching autistic teens to cope
4. Infection Might Raise Blood Clot Risk for Older Adults: Study
5. EKG Heart Test May Predict Risk in Older Adults
6. Out-of-hand tree nut consumption associated with better diet quality in children and adults
7. Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds
8. Callahan honored for improving older adults health in their doctors offices
9. Anti-tobacco TV ads help adults stop smoking, study finds
10. Researchers determine vitamin D blood level for reducing major medical risks in older adults
11. WSU researches patterns of heavy alcohol use and life commitments in at-risk young adults
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... this summer, ushering in a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, ... will continue to offer guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... On Saturday, October 24th, 2015, at the Mill Race Park ... a 5K walk known as “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. Patients and staff members ... located in Battle Creek, joined in for this campaign that sought to raise donations ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... During the week of Thanksgiving, the ... for its research, education, support, and advocacy efforts. The campaign is held every ... Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, which also goes by Meso Foundation, holds the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Michael ... not necessarily caused by real hunger, but instead by a hormone called ghrelin ... that, while many patients are aware that weight loss surgery can help patients lose ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... A record crowd gathered at the Pennsylvania Biotech Center ... Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. , The institute, which is the research arm of the ... leaders for the conference, which focused on ways companies can work to reduce the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 NHS Supply Chain ... TrueBeam™ machines from Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... to replace older machines and institute modern radiotherapy ... public hospitals. The order, placed in September, also ... for Varian,s RapidArc® and Eclipse™ software systems.    ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... N.J. , Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will ... at the 57 th American Society of Hematology ... lymphomas and myelomas as well as supportive care, including ... addition to personalized cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting ... Florida . Novartis Oncology . "We ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: