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Does an Autism Spectrum Disorder Care Pathway Improve Care for Children and Adolescents with ASD in Inpatient Psychiatric Units?

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Jul 03;:

Authors: Kuriakose S, Filton B, Marr M, Okparaeke E, Cervantes P, Siegel M, Horwitz S, Havens J

Abstract
Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are psychiatrically hospitalized at high rates. Though specialized psychiatric units are effective, few specialized units exist. The ASD Care Pathway (ASD-CP) was developed as a scalable approach to improving care in general psychiatric units through staff training and a package of autism-specific intervention strategies. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the ASD-CP in a public hospital child psychiatric service compared 18 months (n = 17) versus 18 months (n = 20) post implementation. Average length of hospital stay decreased 40% (22.4-13.4 days) and use of crisis interventions decreased 77% (holds/restraints; 0.65/day to 0.15/day), though each result only approached statistical significance (p = 0.07; 0.057). This study provides preliminary evidence for improved outcomes after implementation of an ASD-CP.

PMID: 29971653 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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