To read this content please select one of the options below:

An evaluation of the online post-diagnostic groups facilitated by the autism spectrum condition service at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS

Victoria Anne Hatton (Department of Autism Spectrum Condition Service, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK)
Ming Xuan Lee (Department of Autism Spectrum Condition Service, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 25 October 2021

Issue publication date: 13 October 2022

116

Abstract

Purpose

Autism spectrum condition (ASC) is a lifelong developmental condition. According to research, it is recommended that those diagnosed with ASC should be offered post-diagnosis support to explore their diagnosis (Punshow, Skirrow and Murphy, 2009). The ASC Diagnostic Assessment Service at Gloucestershire Health Care (GHC) NHS Foundation Trust offers an assessment service to adults (18+) located within Gloucestershire. All those who receive a diagnosis are then invited to a 7-week post-diagnostic group facilitated by the multidisciplinary team. This service evaluation aimed to evaluate the aforementioned group so that it can be improved upon and thus provide a better service for future clients.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 14 participants (6 males, 8 females) were interviewed for the purpose of this evaluation following their attendance at these groups.

Findings

The interview transcripts then underwent thematic analysis with four themes identified; “Autistic Community”, “Experience of Being Part of an Online Group”, “Opportunity for Consolidation”, and “Design Considerations and Improvements”. Further sub-themes were also identified. Overall, the service evaluation identified that the group provided a platform for sharing experiences and gaining a sense of belonging. It also highlighted that individuals have different preferences for whether groups should be facilitated online or face-to-face, and also different preferences for the duration of sessions. Further analysis also revealed the suggestion that the final session, for family and friends, should be optional so that those without a support network, do not need to attend as this caused unease in some. Further findings were also identified.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, existing articles have only focused on the evaluation of the availability of post-diagnostic provision and autistic individuals’ general impression of it rather than an in-depth evaluation of a specific type of support.

Keywords

Citation

Hatton, V.A. and Lee, M.X. (2022), "An evaluation of the online post-diagnostic groups facilitated by the autism spectrum condition service at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS", Advances in Autism, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 319-331. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-08-2021-0035

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles