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Understanding and improving the care pathway for children with autism

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journal contribution
posted on 17.01.2022, 15:06 authored by Lisa Hurt, Kate Langley, Kate NorthKate North, Alex Southern, Lauren Copeland, Jonathan Gillard, Sharon J. Williams
Purpose: To describe current care pathways for children with autism including enablers and barriers, as experienced by health professionals, education professionals, and families in South Wales, UK. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-methods approach using focus group discussions, creative writing workshops and visualisation using rich pictures. Findings: The experiences of the care pathways differed significantly across the three groups. Health professionals described the most rigidly-structured pathways, with clear entry points and outcomes. Education professionals and parents described more complex and confusing pathways, with parents assuming the responsibility of coordinating the health and education activity in a bid to link the two independent pathways. All three groups identified enablers, although these differed across the groups. The barriers were more consistent across the groups (e.g. poor communication, missing information, lack of transparency, limited post diagnosis services and access to services based on diagnosis rather than need). Practical implications: This research could inform the design of new services which are premised on multi-agency and multi-disciplinary working to ensure children with ASD receive joined up services and support. Originality/value: Although this study did not represent all professional groups or all experiences of autism, we examined three different perspectives of the ASD pathway. In addition, we triangulated high-level process maps with rich pictures and creative writing exercises, which allowed us to identify specific recommendations to improve integration and reduce duplication and gaps in provision.

History

Published in

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

Publisher

Emerald

Acceptance Date

03/07/2018

Publication Date

11/02/2019

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Citation

Hurt, L., Langley, K., North, K., Southern, A., Copeland, L., Gillard, J. and Williams, S. (2019) ‘Understanding and improving the care pathway for children with autism’, International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance. DOI: 10.1108/IJHCQA-08-2017-0153

Print ISSN

0952-6862

Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Copyright Holder

© The Publisher

Language

en