How to improve healthcare for autistic people: A qualitative study of the views of autistic people and clinicians

Autism. 2021 Apr;25(3):774-785. doi: 10.1177/1362361321993709.


Research has shown that on average, autistic people are more likely to die earlier than non-autistic people, and barriers can stop autistic people accessing healthcare. We carried out a study where we interviewed healthcare professionals (including doctors and nurses), and held discussion groups of autistic people. Our results highlighted several key points: seeing the same professional is important for autistic people and clinicians; both clinicians and autistic people think making adjustments to healthcare is important (and often possible); autistic people process information in a different way and so may need extra support in appointments; and that clinicians are often constrained by time pressures or targets.

Keywords: barriers to healthcare; health services; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Autistic Disorder* / therapy
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research