Cross-disciplinary appraisal of knowledge and beliefs regarding the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in India: A cross-sectional survey

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Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine


Background: Many healthcare professionals, including pediatricians, psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists (CPs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), are involved in the identification and intervention of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children. Distinctive training backgrounds and professional exposure can result in contrasting ideas regarding the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD. Only a few studies have addressed the cross-disciplinary perspective of knowledge, belief, and awareness about diagnostic criteria required for diagnosing ASD. Materials and Methods: A total of 154 allied healthcare professionals (98 SLPs, 33 CPs, and 23 OTs) participated in the study. The survey tool used for this study was adapted from a previously available survey on the assessment of knowledge and belief about ASD and self-efficacy. Results: The overall knowledge and belief of allied healthcare professionals regarding ASD differed significantly across the groups. However, the knowledge of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) diagnostic criteria for ASD did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusion: Our findings have salient clinical implications and advocates for the continued education of healthcare professionals in India regarding recent diagnostic criteria for ASD.

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