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Original Articles

Knowledge about diagnostic features and comorbidities of childhood autism among doctors in a tertiary care hospital

Authors:

Yasodha Maheshi Rohanachandra ,

Department of Psychiatry, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Yasodha
Department of Psychiatry, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Dulangi Maneksha Amerasinghe Dahanayake,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Sri Lanka, LK
About Dulangi
Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Sri Lanka
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Lochana Thivanka Rohanachandra,

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka, LK
About Lochana
Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Sri Lanka
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Gampolage Swarna Wijetunge

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Sri Lanka, LK
About Gampolage
Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Sri Lanka
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Abstract

Introduction: Epidemiological surveys indicate that the prevalence of autism is rising worldwide. A study in Sri Lanka has shown 1 in 93 children to be affected. Early diagnosis is vital as early intensive behavioural interventions improve outcome in autism. It has been shown that the level of physicians’ knowledge of autism influences the average age of diagnosis and provision of further information to caregivers.

Objectives: To assess the knowledge of diagnostic features and comorbidities of childhood autism among doctors in a tertiary care hospital and to identify the factors affecting it.

Method: A descriptive study was conducted on 176 doctors at Colombo South Teaching Hospital, using the Knowledge about Childhood Autism among Health Workers Questionnaire. Data was collected by authors and analyzed using SPSS version 21. Ethical approval was obtained from the ethical review committee of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.

Results: Majority (61.9%) considered themselves incompetent in identifying autism. Knowledge was highest regarding symptoms of impaired social interactions (75.81%) and lowest for restricted repetitive interests/behaviours (60.79%), with a significant difference between medical officers and postgraduate trainees (p=0.045). 

Conclusions: Knowledge regarding childhood autism is poor among doctors in the tertiary hospital studied.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2017; 46(1): 29-32

How to Cite: Rohanachandra, Y.M., Dahanayake, D.M.A., Rohanachandra, L.T. and Wijetunge, G.S., 2017. Knowledge about diagnostic features and comorbidities of childhood autism among doctors in a tertiary care hospital. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 46(1), pp.29–32. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v46i1.8093
Published on 05 Mar 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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