A recently published study, headed by Christina Nicolaidis, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, found a significant difference between the reported quality of health care experienced by autistic adults and non-autistic adults. Overall, autistic adults were less likely to utilize preventative services, and reported a greater number of unmet health care needs as well as a higher use of the emergency department. The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, surveyed 209 autistic adults and 228 non-autistic adults and was conducted by the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE).
“Like other adults, adults on the autism spectrum need to use health care services to prevent and treat illness. As a primary care provider, I know that our health care system is not always set up to offer high-quality care to adults on the spectrum; however, I was saddened to see how large the disparities were. We really need to find better ways to serve them,” said Dr. Nicolaidis.
This project was funded by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI); a grant from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (UL1 RR024140); and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.