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Expanding the Capacity of Primary Care to Treat Co-morbidities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Jul 07;:

Authors: Van Cleave J, Holifield C, Neumeyer AM, Perrin JM, Powers E, Van L, Kuhlthau KA

We examined barriers and facilitators to expanding primary care’s capacity to manage conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We conducted semi-structured interviews with specialists, primary care providers (PCPs), primary care staff, and parents of children with ASD, discussing health/behavior problems encountered, co-management, and patient/family experience. Participants endorsed primary care as the right place for ASD-associated conditions. Specialists advising PCPs, in lieu of referrals, efficiently uses their expertise. PCPs’ ability to manage ASD-associated conditions hinged on how behavioral aspects of ASD affected care delivery. Practices lacked ASD-specific policies but made individual-level accommodations and broader improvements benefitting children with ASD. Enhancing access to specialty expertise, particularly around ASD-associated behaviors, and building on current quality improvements appear important to expanding primary care.

PMID: 29982896 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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