Staff Perceptions and Implementation Fidelity of an Autism Spectrum Disorder Care Pathway on a Child/Adolescent General Psychiatric Inpatient Service

Lauren J. Donnelly, Paige E. Cervantes, Eugene Okparaeke, Cheryl R. Stein, Beryl Filton, Sarah Kuriakose, Jennifer Havens, Sarah M. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

While youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are psychiatrically hospitalized at high rates, general psychiatric settings are not designed to meet their unique needs. Previous evaluations of an ASD-Care Pathway (ASD-CP) on a general psychiatric unit revealed sustained reductions in crisis interventions (intramuscular medication use, holds/restraints; Cervantes et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 49(8):3173–3180, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04029-6, 2019; Kuriakose et al. in J Autism Dev Disord 48(12):4082–4089, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3666-y, 2018). The current study investigated staff perceptions of the ASD-CP (N = 30), and examined rates of ASD-CP implementation fidelity in relation to patient outcomes (N = 28). Staff identified visual communication aids and reward strategies as most helpful. The number of days of reward identification early in the inpatient stay was associated with fewer crisis interventions later in a patient’s stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-168
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Care pathway
  • Inpatient hospitalization
  • Psychiatric
  • Staff training

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