Implementation of a practice development model to reduce the wait for Autism Spectrum diagnosis in adults
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Rutherford, M., Forsyth, K., McKenzie, K., McClure, I., Murray, A., McCartney, D., Irvine, L. & O'Hare, A. (2018) Implementation of a practice development model to reduce the wait for Autism Spectrum diagnosis in adults, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48 (8), pp. 2677-2691.
This study examined waiting times for diagnostic assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder in 11 adult services, prior to and following the implementation of a 12 month change program. Methods to support change are reported and a multi-level modelling approach determined the effect of the change program on overall wait times. Results were statistically significant (b = − 0.25, t(136) = − 2.88, p = 0.005). The average time individuals waited for diagnosis across all services reduced from 149.4 days prior to the change program and 119.5 days after it, with an average reduction of 29.9 days overall. This innovative intervention provides a promising framework for service improvement to reduce the wait for diagnostic assessment of ASD in adults across the range of spectrum presentations.