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Adult autism spectrum disorder: knowledge, attitude and practice of health system professionals

Javad Alaghband-rad (Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Maryam Ardeshir (Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Elham Hakki Kazazi (Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Mahtab Motamed (Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 16 December 2022

11

Abstract

Purpose

The prevalence of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is rising. As children with ASD become adults, the need for appropriate physical and mental health care becomes more evident. Lack of knowledge and inadequate training about adult ASD can lead to discomfort in management and service delivery to this population. This study aims to assess knowledge, attitude and practice of health-care providers for patients with adult ASD and to determine the needs of health-care staff to provide convenient care to adult patients with ASD.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019–2020 among health-care professionals in Iran using an online questionnaire.

Findings

In this study, 182 health-care professionals (67.6% mental health professionals) participated. A minority of participants mentioned having excellent or very good knowledge about autism (10%) or acceptable access to clinical tools and guidelines (27%). Around 67% of professionals believed that patients with ASD are not cooperative. The most preferred training was training on effective communication strategies with ASD patients (64.8%).

Practical implications

The authors found a gap in knowledge and training of adult ASD diagnosis and management among health-care providers.

Originality/value

This study highlights the significance of empowering professionals with better training to manage adult autism.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to the late Dr Abdollah Advani for his kind assistance in data gathering.

Citation

Alaghband-rad, J., Ardeshir, M., Hakki Kazazi, E. and Motamed, M. (2022), "Adult autism spectrum disorder: knowledge, attitude and practice of health system professionals", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-07-2022-0066

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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