Barriers to healthcare for Australian autistic adults

Published May 2023


This study looked at how Australian autistic and non-autistic adults experience barriers to healthcare. We asked autistic and non-autistic adults to complete the Barriers to Healthcare Checklist Short-Form (BHC). We analysed data from 263 autistic adults and 70 non-autistic adults. We found that autistic adults experienced more barriers to healthcare than non-autistic adults. Gender diversity, feeling more anxious, having greater disability and feeling unsatisfied with social support contributed to barriers to healthcare in autistic participants. We recommend interventions such as developing and implementing a national action plan, similar to the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability (2021) to reduce barriers and address unmet healthcare needs of Australian autistic adults. We also recommend working with autistic adults to develop new policies and strategies, implementing environmental adaptations to health care facilities, and increasing Autism education opportunities for health professionals to address gaps in knowledge.
Arnold, S. R., Bruce, G., Weise, J., Mills, C. J., Trollor, J. N., & Coxon, K. (2023). Barriers to healthcare for Australian autistic adults. Autism.

Please note: some publications may only be accessible to registered users.