Navigation Links
Study finds racial and ethnic disparities in usage of specialty services for children with autism

A study from investigators at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) found that African-American or Hispanic children diagnosed with autism were significantly less likely than white children to have received subspecialty care or procedures related to conditions that often accompany autism spectrum disorders. While previous studies have documented that minority children with autism tend to be diagnosed at a later age than white children, this report which will appear in the July issue of Pediatrics and has been released online is the first to describe disparities in the use of specialty services in gastroenterology, psychiatry or psychology.

"We think there are probably many reasons for these differences," says Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, MD, of MGHfC and the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), lead author of the report. "Many autism-related medical symptoms including gastrointestinal issues like constipation and neuropsychiatric issues such as anxiety or sleep disorders are not well understood, so doctors may not realize children are having those symptoms."

The research team reviewed records for more than 3,600 patients ages 2 to 21 with a diagnosis of autism who received care at the MGH or its affiliated health centers from 2000 through 2010. Data on each clinical visit was analyzed, with particular attention to specialty care in gastroenterology, psychiatry and psychology and to procedures including endoscopy, ultrasound, EEG, brain imaging and sleep studies. Among the patients identified, 81 percent were white, 5 percent were African-American and 7 percent, Hispanic.

The analysis revealed that minority children were significantly less likely to have received either subspecialty care or procedures, with some of the most significant differences in gastroenterology services, which were accessed by almost 14 percent of white children but only 9 percent of African-American children and 10 percent of Hispanic children. Minority children were less likely to have received an endoscopy or colonoscopy, and Hispanic children were much less likely to have had sleep studies or other neurological or neuropsychiatric tests.

"We know that many children with autism have gastrointestinal or sleep issues, and if those problems are not being diagnosed or treated, they can lead to additional behavior difficulties that can inhibit development," says Broder-Fingert, who is a clinical fellow in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "Combining the challenges of accessing specialty services for any child with autism, regardless of race or ethnicity, with the recognized difficulties minority communities have accessing medical care in general can lead to these major disparities in the use of services.

"It's going to be important to see whether these differences in service use lead to differences in medical and behavioral outcomes, and we need to understand more about why this is happening," she adds. "We hope this work can help doctors be aware of these disparities and be sure to look out for patients especially minority patients who might need specialty services, and that we can help parents of children with autism be aware that these conditions may occur in their children and ask their doctors for assistance."


Contact: Kory Dodd Zhao
Massachusetts General Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Study Finds Individuals with Arthritis Don’t Walk Enough, Allsup Reports
2. Older patients will make lifestyle changes to avoid fractures, study finds
3. Loopholes in Federally Mandated IVF Reporting Lead Some Clinics to Artificially Inflate IVF Pregnancy Rates, Center for Human Reproduction Study Reports
4. Study Shows Alcohol Abusers Cannot Depend on Their Designated Drivers
5. UF study finds brain-imaging technique can help diagnose movement disorders
6. First major study of suicide motivations to advance prevention
7. Insurance Service Center Discusses a Recent Health Study and Encourages the Wisconsin Community to Purchase Adequate Health Coverage to Avoid a Financial Disaster
8. Study Identifies Most Effective Natural Bed Bug Killer
9. Clearwater, FL Periodontist, Dr. Stephen Kobernick Cites Recent Periodontal Study Urging Patients to Seek Gum Disease Treatment
10. Self-defense training for Kenyan girls reduces rape, Stanford/Packard study finds
11. Study finds greater potential benefit in overall survival for eribulin compared with capecitabine
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor ... that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy ... and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults ... tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN Medical ... the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award ... on extensive primary and secondary medical device market research by ... through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the AVACEN ... approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris ... science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, ... Institute has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as ... leading cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute ... to advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... --  West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), a ... today shared the results of a study highlighting the ... administration of polio vaccines. The study results were presented ... by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials and ... and recently published in the journal Vaccine. i ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: