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Views about primary care health checks for autistic adults: UK survey findings
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-01, 04:52 authored by David Mason, Helen Taylor, Barry Ingham, Tracy Finch, Colin Wilson, Clare Scarlett, Anna UrbanowiczAnna Urbanowicz, Christina Nicolaidis, Nicholas Lennox, Sebastian Moss, Carole Buckley, Sally-Ann Cooper, Malcom Osborne, Deborah Garland, Dora Raymaker, Jeremy R Parr
BackgroundCompared with the general population, autistic adults experience higher rates of physical and mental health conditions, premature morbidity and mortality, and barriers to health care. A health check for autistic people may improve their health outcomes.AimTo establish the views of autistic people towards a primary care health check for autistic people.Design & settingCross-sectional questionnaire study in England and Wales.MethodA questionnaire was sent to autistic adults with physical health conditions in England and Wales. A total of 458 people (441 autistic adults and 17 proxy responders) completed the questionnaire.ResultsMost responders (73.4%,n= 336) thought a health check is needed for all autistic people. Around half of the participants thought a health check should be offered from childhood and the health check appointment should last between 15 and 30 minutes. Autistic people were positive about providing primary care staff with contextual information regarding their health and the reasonable adjustments they would like before their health check appointment. Training about autism and the health check was considered important, alongside adequate time for discussions in the health check appointment (all by over 70% of responders). The clinician’s autism knowledge, seeing a familiar clinician, environmental adaptations, appropriate information, and accessible appointments were considered particularly important in making a health check accessible.ConclusionAutistic people and relatives were supportive of a primary care health check for autistic people. Information gathered was used to support the design of a primary care health check for autistic adults.
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autistic disorderclinical (general)general practicehealth promotion and preventioninequalitiesprimary health careIntellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)AutismBrain DisordersBehavioral and Social ScienceHealth ServicesMental HealthClinical Research7.1 Individual care needsMental health3 Good Health and Well Being