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Understanding psychiatrists’ knowledge, attitudes and experiences in identifying and supporting their patients on the autism spectrum: an online survey

Crane, L; Davidson, I; Prosser, R; Pellicano, E; (2019) Understanding psychiatrists’ knowledge, attitudes and experiences in identifying and supporting their patients on the autism spectrum: an online survey. BJPsych Open , 5 (3) , Article e33. 10.1192/bjo.2019.12. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Psychiatrists play a critical role in identifying and supporting autistic people in the UK, yet little is known about their knowledge, attitudes and experiences in this regard. Aim. To understand psychiatrists’ experiences of working with autistic individuals, their confidence in making diagnostic/management decisions, and the factors that affect such decisions. METHOD: 172 psychiatrists took part in an online self-report survey. RESULTS: Most psychiatrists reported receiving useful training on autism and were knowledgeable about the condition, particularly those with a personal connection to autism. Higher confidence in working with autistic patients was linked to greater levels of autism knowledge, experience and training. Several systematic and autism-specific factors were highlighted by psychiatrists, which were felt to challenge their ability to provide effective care and support for their autistic patients. CONCLUSIONS: Psychiatrists’ views corroborated previous research with the autism community, highlighting the need to co-design services that are accessible, respectful and person-centred.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding psychiatrists’ knowledge, attitudes and experiences in identifying and supporting their patients on the autism spectrum: an online survey
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1192/bjo.2019.12
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.12
Language: English
Additional information: COPYRIGHT: © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2019 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: autism, psychiatrist, diagnosis, identification, self-efficacy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068222
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