Knowledge, attitudes and caring experiences of health professionals managing Autism Spectrum Disorders in children and adolescents in Uganda
Yeko, Barbra Kissa
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The researcher aimed at understanding the knowledge, attitudes and experiences of health professionals when managing children and adolescents along the Autism spectrum. The sample consisted of twenty health professionals from different health disciplines working with children and adolescents from three regional hospitals in Eastern Uganda. An Interpretitive phenomenological analysis research design was used, data were collected using a semistructured interview guide and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants revealed inadequate knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD due to limited training and low clinical exposure to ASD cases. Participants reported experiencing frustration due to adverse challenges in the management of ASD which included poor caregiver health seeking behavior as a result of deeply rooted spiritual beliefs, community stigma, poverty and negative hospital experiences, complexity and ambiguity of ASD, low cooperation from caregivers and colleagues and inadequate health institutional capacity to manage ASD. Participants reported that due to these challenges experienced, they easily misdiagnose or miss ASD in their practice.