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      An online ASD learning module for pediatric health care professionals

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          Youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have co-occurring health care needs and are likely to come into contact with several health care professionals over their lives. At the hospital, youth with ASD may require specialized supports to optimize health care experiences and for medical services to be delivered safely. At present, there is a limited understanding of how to best support this patient population. The purpose of this paper is to develop, implement, and evaluate an online training module for hospital staff about ASD.


          To evaluate participants’ perceived utility of the learning tool, a post-module survey was administered.


          In all, 102 health care professionals and other hospital staff completed the training and evaluation measure. Majority of participants had prior ASD-focused education (66 percent) and had experience working with at least 20 youths with ASD (57 percent). Majority of participants (88 percent) perceived the information from the module to be helpful in their daily work and reported that they learned something new (63 percent). Participants were interested in receiving additional ASD online module training opportunities on topics including: hands-on behavior management strategies, in-hospital resources, guidance on treatment adherence, and ASD training geared specifically to protection services staff.


          The results from this evaluation have important practice implications for hospital staff working with patients with ASD and their families. Evidence-based strategies were easily accessible for staff and the module can be feasibly built upon and expanded as well as disseminated beyond the current hospital setting.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Parental report of health conditions and health care use among children with and without autism: National Survey of Children's Health.

          To compare parent-reported prevalence of health conditions and health care use between children with and without autism. Cross-sectional analysis of the 2003 to 2004 National Survey of Children's Health. Population-based sample across the United States. More than 100 000 parents. The main exposure was "autism" (not further defined), from response to the question: "Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child has autism?" Medical and mental health conditions and measures of health care use. Autism prevalence among children aged 3 to 17 years was 53 per 10 000 (95% confidence interval, 45-61 per 10,000), equating to a national estimate of 324 000 children (95% confidence interval, 274,000-375,000 children). Children with autism had a significantly (P<.001) higher prevalence of depression or anxiety problems (38.9% vs 4.2%) and behavioral or conduct problems (58.9% vs 5.2%) than children without autism. Respiratory, food, and skin allergies were reported by parents more often for children with autism, with food allergies having the strongest relative difference between the groups (odds ratio, 4.5; 95% confidence interval, 3.0-7.0). Children with autism had significantly (P<.001) higher mean physician visits over 12 months for preventive care, nonemergency care, and hospital emergency care, and were far more likely than children without autism to receive physical, occupational, or speech therapy (76.0% vs 6.3%), to need treatment or counseling for an emotional, developmental, or behavioral problem (75.4% vs 7.0%), and, among those taking a prescribed medication, to be using a medication long-term (51.4% vs 14.5%). We found markedly higher reports of concurrent conditions and health care use associated with childhood autism in this study.
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            Simulation-based learning in nurse education: systematic review.

             R Cant,  Garth Cooper (2009)
            This paper is a report of a review of the quantitative evidence for medium to high fidelity simulation using manikins in nursing, in comparison to other educational strategies. Human simulation is an educational process that can replicate clinical practices in a safe environment. Although endorsed in nursing curricula, its effectiveness is largely unknown. A systematic review of quantitative studies published between 1999 and January 2009 was undertaken using the following databases: CINAHL Plus, ERIC, Embase, Medline, SCOPUS, ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database. The primary search terms were 'simulation' and 'human simulation'. Reference lists from relevant papers and the websites of relevant nursing organizations were also searched. The quality of the included studies was appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria. Twelve studies were included in the review. These used experimental or quasi-experimental designs. All reported simulation as a valid teaching/learning strategy. Six of the studies showed additional gains in knowledge, critical thinking ability, satisfaction or confidence compared with a control group (range 7-11%). The validity and reliability of the studies varied due to differences in design and assessment methods. Medium and/or high fidelity simulation using manikins is an effective teaching and learning method when best practice guidelines are adhered to. Simulation may have some advantage over other teaching methods, depending on the context, topic and method. Further exploration is needed to determine the effect of team size on learning and to develop a universal method of outcome measurement.
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              Satisfaction with primary health care received by families of children with developmental disabilities.

              To evaluate the perceptions of families of children with developmental disabilities regarding their primary care physicians and to determine if differences exist for different conditions. Mailed survey to families of children who had autism, physical disabilities (cerebral palsy or spina bifida) and mental retardation that included the Multidimensional Assessment of Parental Satisfaction for Children with Special Needs. One hundred twenty-one families responded. Families rated physicians highest on their ability to keep up with new aspects of care and on their sensitivity to the needs of children. Parents had the lowest ratings for the primary care physicians' ability to put them in touch with other parents, understanding of the impact of the child's condition on the family, ability to answer questions about the child's condition, and information and guidance for prevention. Physicians' knowledge about complementary and alternative medicine and their qualifications to manage developmental disabilities ranked worse than neutral. Families with a child with autism had more spontaneous negative comments and rated their primary care physicians lower on several aspects of care. They requested more information on complementary and alternative medicine and more support in the community. Families of children with developmental disabilities demonstrate dissatisfaction with several aspects of health care that can serve as areas for intervention by their health care providers. Families of children with autism in particular articulate dissatisfaction and voice unmet needs.

                Author and article information

                Advances in Autism
                Emerald Publishing
                03 July 2017
                : 3
                Issue : 3 Issue title : Improving access to healthcare Issue title : Improving access to healthcare
                : 154-162
                Brock University , Saint Catharines, Canada
                Department of Social Work, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
                Author notes
                Priscilla Burnham Riosa can be contacted at:
                595866 AIA-03-2017-0007.pdf AIA-03-2017-0007
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 30, Pages: 9, Words: 4872
                research-article, Research paper
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
                Custom metadata

                Health & Social care

                Autism spectrum disorder, Hospital staff, Online learning module, Education


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