Assessment of knowledge about childhood autism spectrum disorder among healthcare workers in Makkah-Saudi Arabia

Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Aalia Akhtar Hayat Institute of psychiatry, Pakistan, Ministry of health KSA
  • Areej Habib Meny KING SAUD BIN ABDULAZIZ UNIVERSITY KSA
  • Nabila Salahuddin NHS UK
  • Faisal M. Alnemary TAIF UNIVERSITY KSA
  • Kumar-Ricky Ahuja NHS UK
  • Muhammad Waqar Azeem SIDRA MEDICINE-WEIL CORNELL UNIVERSITY QATAR
Keywords: ASD, ASD symptoms, Autism, Autism spectrum disorder, Healthcare professionals, Knowledge about autism, Neurodevelopmental disorders

Abstract

Objective: To measure the knowledge of healthcare professionals about increasingly prevalent Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) along with perceptions around its management and prognosis and comparison across various specialties.

Methods: This Cross sectional survey based comparative analysis took place at Maternity and Children Hospital and King Faisal Hospital Makkah from December 2017 to May 2018. The validated self-administered “Knowledge about childhood autism among health workers” questionnaire was used along with additional questions regarding perceptions about ASD. The mean and mean percent scores were calculated. Chi squared test and ANOVA were applied to find the association between quantitative and qualitative variables respectively.

Results: Out of 162 participants, 153 returned the questionnaire and 147 were included in final analysis. Physicians constituted 81.6% (120) of participants. The mean score for participants was 9.80(S.E.M ±0.32) where non-physicians yielded higher mean score (11.2±4.41) as compared to physicians (9.6±3.28) (p=0.113). Psychiatrists had highest score of 16/19 while general physicians had lowest (6/19). Participants with more years of experience had higher mean scores (p-value = 0.01). About 72.10% (106) of participants opted for medication as a treatment option. Nearly 38.1% (56) of participants were skeptical about improvement of ASD with early interventions.

Conclusion: There is a lack of knowledge about ASD amongst healthcare professionals in Saudi Arabia. Experienced professionals working with ASD children can be utilized to deliver targeted trainings nationwide.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.4.605

How to cite this:
Hayat AA, Meny AH, Salahuddin N, Alnemary FM, Ahuja KR, Azeem MW. Assessment of knowledge about childhood autism spectrum disorder among healthcare workers in Makkah- Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(4):951-957. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.4.605

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published
2019-07-09
Section
Original Articles