Objective: To evaluate the impact of a training program on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) identification offered to Brazilian health professionals.
Methods: Twenty-two primary care providers participated in five 3-hour weekly training sessions.
Results: The trained providers significantly improved their ASD knowledge after training in comparison with pre-training (mean score, 6.73 vs. 9.18, p < 0.01). Clinical practice also changed: 4 months after the training program, the providers had referred six times as many suspected cases of ASD to a specialized mental health service in comparison with the previous 4 months.
Conclusion: This pilot training model seems a promising, feasible, and inexpensive way to improve early identification of ASD in the primary care system.