Non-expert clinicians' detection of autistic traits among attenders of a youth mental health service
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 83–86, February 2012
How to Cite
Fraser, R., Cotton, S., Gentle, E., Angus, B., Allott, K. and Thompson, A. (2012), Non-expert clinicians' detection of autistic traits among attenders of a youth mental health service. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6: 83–86. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2011.00288.x
- Issue published online: 24 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
- Received 12 January 2011; accepted 10 July 2011
- autism spectrum disorders;
- mental health;
Aims: The aims of this study were to determine the point prevalence of autism spectrum disorders and to estimate the prevalence of autistic traits in a youth mental health service.
Methods: Following three educational sessions on autism spectrum disorders, treating clinicians were interviewed to determine whether the clients on their caseloads had (i) a confirmed prior diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder; (ii) were felt to exhibit autistic traits; or (iii) were not felt to exhibit autistic traits.
Results: Information on autism spectrum disorder status was obtained for 476 patients. Of the included patients, 3.4% (n = 16) had a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and 7.8% (n = 37) were reported by treating clinicians to exhibit autistic traits.
Conclusions: The rate of autism spectrum disorder was higher in this population than that in community samples with twice as many again being identified as having autistic traits by their treating clinicians. This has implications for correct diagnosis and appropriate management in these settings.