Gender differences in co-morbid psychopathology and clinical management in adults with autism spectrum disorders

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Abstract

The present study examined rates of co-morbid psychopathology and clinical management/care pathways in adult females (N = 50) and males (N = 100) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) living in community settings. We also compared a sub-sample (N = 60) with ASD to an age-, gender- and ID-matched control group (N = 90) on ratings of psychopathology and autism-related symptoms. All participants were referrals to specialist mental heath services for people with ID. Clinical diagnoses of psychopathology and ASD were based on ICD-10 criteria. Key informants also completed the Psychopathology Assessment Schedule for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (PAS-ADD) checklist. The analysis showed that there were statistically significant differences in rates of co-morbid psychopathology and clinical management between males and females with ASD, although there were no significant differences in level of ID and age. More specifically, personality disorder and schizophrenia were more common among males, where as dementia was more common among females. Regarding clinical management, males were more likely to be prescribed a combination of medication and females were more likely to receive sedation. Overall, the results suggest that male and female patients with ASD have, at least to some extent, different mental health needs. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803 - 808
Number of pages6
JournalResearch In Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

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