The Assessment and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Autistic People: A Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Adverse life events and mental health conditions are unfortunately common amongst autistic adults and children; this may present a vulnerability to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This systematic review provides an update of Rumball’s (Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 6, 294–324, 2019) systematic review of PTSD in autistic individuals and identifies 18 new studies published from 2017 to 2022, reflecting increased research interest in PTSD in autistic populations. Included literature suggests that autistic adults and children experience more severe PTSD symptoms compared to their non-autistic peers, with at least comparable rates of occurrence. We provide a comprehensive overview of this emerging field and identify the need for future research to validate PTSD symptom assessment tools and treatment strategies and investigate unique manifestations of trauma-related symptoms in autistic individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Early online date21 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autism spectrum
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Trauma
  • Trauma treatment

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