Views about Primary Care health checks for autistic adults: UK survey findings

Mason, David, Taylor, Helen, Ingham, Barry, Finch, Tracy, Wilson, Colin, Scarlett, Clare, Urbanowicz, Anna, Nicolaidis, Christina, Lennox, Nicholas, Moss, Sebastian, Buckley, Carole, Sally-Ann, Cooper, Osborne, Malcom, Garland, Deborah, Raymaker, Dora and Parr, Jeremy R. (2022) Views about Primary Care health checks for autistic adults: UK survey findings. BJGP Open. ISSN 2398-3795 (In Press)

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Background Compared to the general population, autistic adults experience higher rates of physical and mental health conditions, premature morbidity and mortality, and barriers to healthcare. A health check for autistic people may improve their health outcomes.Aim To establish the views of autistic people toward a primary care health check for autistic people.Design and setting Cross-sectional questionnaire study.Methods A questionnaire was sent to autistic adults with physical health conditions in England and Wales. 458 people (441 autistic adults and 17 proxy responders) completed the questionnaire.Results Most respondents (72.9%, 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 prior to 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 80% of respondents). 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.Conclusions Autistic 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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was funded by the Inge Wakehurst Trust who funded the Improving the Health of Older Autistic People study, and the UK autism research charity Autistica who funded the Health Checks for Autistic Adults study.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Primary healthcare, autism, adults, survey, health checks, reasonable adjustments
Subjects: B700 Nursing
B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 09:28
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 09:30

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