Interventions to address health outcomes among autistic adults: A systematic review

  title={Interventions to address health outcomes among autistic adults: A systematic review},
  author={Teal W. Benevides and Stephen M. Shore and May-Lynn Andresen and Reid Caplan and Barb Cook and Dena L. Gassner and Jasmine M Erves and Taylor M Hazlewood and Margaret King and Lisa Morgan and Lauren Murphy and Yenn Purkis and Brigid Rankowski and Sarah M Rutledge and Savannah P Welch and Karl Wittig},
  pages={1345 - 1359}
Research has shown that autistic adults have poor health outcomes. We conducted a systematic review to identify existing interventions to address health outcomes for autistic adults and to determine whether these interventions address the priorities of the autistic community. We searched PubMed for articles that included an intervention, a primary health outcome measured at the individual (not system) level, and a sample population of at least 50% autistic adults. Studies were excluded if they… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Health and wellbeing outcomes and social prescribing pathways in community-based support for autistic adults: A systematic mapping review of reviews.
The review found that there has been minimal evaluation of holistic, low intensity services for autistic adults, such as those offered in social prescribing approaches, and suggested how social prescribing could be adapted to improve accessibility for autistic people.
A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials on Healthy Relationship Skills and Sexual Health for Autistic Youth
The state of intervention science on programs that promote healthy intimate relationship skills and sexual health for autistic youth (i.e., healthy intimacy) and comparative effectiveness research on these programs would benefit the field are investigated.
Autistic adults have poorer quality healthcare and worse health based on self-report data
Autistic adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions alongside self-reported lower quality healthcare than others, and health inequalities between these groups are widespread and dramatic; they existed before and have persisted after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual Group–Based Mindfulness Intervention for Autistic Adults: a Feasibility Study
Objectives Although mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to be helpful in reducing psychological distress in autistic adults, limited research has explored virtual delivery in the autism
Telehealth Interventions to Promote Health and Behavior-Related Outcomes in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
An overall lack of empirical evidence was demonstrated on the efficacy of hybrid-delivered interventions for adolescents with ASD, and more studies are needed to explore their effectiveness.
Psychoeducational Group Intervention for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Close Relations (Prisma) – An Open Feasibility Study
Results indicate that the Prisma is a feasible first-line intervention in a stepped-care process in outpatient services and preliminary analyses showed promising results with an increase in knowledge of ASD.
“Physical activity is beneficial to anyone, including those with ASD”: Antecedents of nurses recommending physical activity for people with autism spectrum disorder
Nurses have an opportunity to more frequently promote physical activity to their patients with autism spectrum disorder and, in doing so, help mitigate some of the poor health outcomes people with autism Spectrum disorder experience.
The role of the NP in primary care of adults with autism spectrum disorder
NPs are uniquely positioned to reform primary care and eliminate inequities, and can help influence practice standards and optimize care for these patients through education, advocacy, and health promotion.
Tackling healthcare access barriers for individuals with autism from diagnosis to adulthood
Current and emerging barriers to healthcare access encountered by individuals with ASD across the lifespan are described and stakeholders are urged to develop evidence-informed policies, programs, and technologies that address barriers and consider broad, equitable implementation to maximize impact.


Listening to the autistic voice: Mental health priorities to guide research and practice in autism from a stakeholder-driven project
A stakeholder-driven project that involved autistic adults in co-leading and designing research about priorities to address mental health needs identified five top priorities for mental health research which should be incorporated by researchers and practitioners in their work with autistic adults.
Evidence Base Update: 50 Years of Research on Treatment for Child and Adolescent Anxiety
Findings from this review suggest substantial support for cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as an effective and appropriate first-line treatment for youth with anxiety disorders.
Risk markers for suicidality in autistic adults
In autistic adults, non-suicidal self-injury, camouflaging, and number of unmet support needs significantly predicted suicidality, suggesting there are unique factors associated with autism and autistic traits that increase risk of suicidity.
Mindfulness in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a Systematic Review and Narrative Analysis
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more susceptible to stress, anxiety and depression than typically developing individuals. Previous research suggests that mindfulness is effective
“Respect the way I need to communicate with you”: Healthcare experiences of adults on the autism spectrum
An in-depth understanding of autistic adults’ experiences with healthcare and their recommendations for improving care is obtained to empower patients, adequately train providers, increase the accessibility of the healthcare system, and decrease discrimination.
The health status of adults on the autism spectrum
Nearly all medical conditions were significantly more common in adults with autism, including immune conditions, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, seizure, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes.
Brief Report: Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of Individual Mindfulness Therapy for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
There is evidence for feasibility based on acceptable treatment fidelity and participant satisfaction ratings, and initial efficacy of an adapted mindfulness-based individual therapy targeting ER difficulties for adults with ASD.
Group cognitive behavioural therapy and group recreational activity for adults with autism spectrum disorders: A preliminary randomized controlled trial
Cognitive behavioural therapy and recreational activity appear to be promising treatment options for adults with autism spectrum disorder due to the common elements, structure and group setting.
Emergency Department Use Among Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Mean total ED charges for adults with ASD were 2.3 times higher than for adults without ASD, emphasize the need to examine the extent of frequent ED use in this population.
Medical and Health Problems in Adults with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome
The focus of this chapter is on those who have historically been identified with “high-functioning autism” or Asperger syndrome, in addition to the current literature on prevalence rates of specific disorders.