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Title: A Multidisciplinary Team versus Single Practitioners: Parental Satisfaction and Wait in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Experience
Authors: Laverdière-Ranger, Lynn
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder diagnosis;ASD;multidisciplinary assessment teams;interdisciplinary assessment teams,;parental satisfaction;wait time
Issue Date: 16-May-2014
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: This is a mixed-methods study investigating parental satisfaction and wait times as parents inquire about an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis for their child in a Northern Ontario community. Satisfaction and wait times of those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by a single practitioner were compared to satisfaction and wait times of those diagnosed by the multidisciplinary assessment team in the Sudbury/Manitoulin region (the Autism Diagnostic Team; ADT). No significant differences were noted between groups on satisfaction or wait times. However, ADT group received much more consistent service, with less variation in wait times between clients, and more consistent provision of comprehensive services prior to the diagnostic meeting. Points of interest are noted for practitioners including increased wait times for parents of children with milder forms of ASD and for girls. No differences in wait time or satisfaction were noted between language groups. Content analysis of the qualitative interviews representing mainly single practitioners saw the emergence of themes including difficulty activating the assessment process, concerns regarding the wait, and appointment demands. The importance of professional expertise, empathy, and respectful communication also emerged. Parents felt the experience was deeply distressing and they often experienced abandonment following the diagnostic process. Additionally, parents whose children did not receive a diagnosis often felt confusion about what to do next. Reducing wait times, increasing professional expertise, completing comprehensive assessments, and using truly interdisciplinary teams should continue to be the focus of service improvements that may translate into improved satisfaction.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses
Psychology / Psychologie - Master's theses

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