Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder and pediatricians play a critical role in early diagnosis. This study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge, beliefs, and experiences of pediatric residents and pediatricians about ASD. A 35-item questionnaire consisting of two sections was administered. The diagnostic features section consisted of questions measuring the level of knowledge about diagnostic criteria of ASD. The general knowledge and beliefs section consisted of questions about beliefs and experiences regarding ASD. The study consisted of 101 participants. Mean score obtained by all participants from the diagnostic features section was 5.78 ± 1.65. The mean scores obtained by residents and pediatricians from the diagnostic features section were 5.35 ± 1.5 and 6.31 ± 1.68. Pediatricians obtained higher scores significantly than residents from diagnostic features section (t = -2.99, p = 0.004). The mean scores obtained by residents and pediatricians from section of general knowledge and beliefs were 13.69 ± 3 and 14.48 ± 3.15. This difference was not significant (t = -1.27, p = 0.225). This study suggests that participants' knowledge and awareness about ASD was insufficient and while pediatricians knew more about the diagnostic criteria, their awareness and approach regarding ASD were no different from pediatric residents in general practice.
Keywords: autism; awareness; knowledge; pediatrician; resident.
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