Autism Alertness and Psychiatric Stigma in Dutch Physicians Screening in the Child General Population
Objectives: The aim of the study is to evaluate the level of ASD alertness in Dutch physicians screening for autism in the child general population.
Methods: In a cohort of 93 Dutch Youth and Family Centre (YFC) physicians, we administered the Community Attitudes to Mental Illness (CAMI) questionnaire, an ASD knowledge test and demographic questionnaires.
Results: Results show that Dutch YFC physicians have a positive attitude towards persons with mental illness (CAMI 1-5 Likert scale, mean ranging from 2.18-2.22), sufficient general autism and low levels of specific autism knowledge (ASD knowledge test, scores 1(low)-10 (high): general: 7.1; specific 5.7). The level of psychiatric stigma was unrelated to the level of autism knowledge and other demographic variables.
Conclusions: Psychiatric stigma and autism knowledge are points of concern in physicians screening for autism in the general population. Research elucidating the relation between psychiatric stigma, ASD knowledge and the early detection of autism in health professionals is needed.