Primary healthcare for young people on the autism spectrum

Published March 2019

The Autism CRC project ‘Using big data to better understand health and wellbeing’ has two primary overarching objectives:

  • Part A : To investigate reasons for encounters, problems managed, referrals being made and medications prescribed by Australian General Practitioners (GPs) to young autistic people in comparison with those without an autism diagnosis.
  • Part B: To use the existing New South Wales state-based linked administrative data infrastructure to explore the potential of an existing autism flag or identifier to examine mortality, cause of death and health outcomes for autistic Australians and compare these to the non-autistic population.

The following report refers to outcomes from Part A of the project

Part A of this project involved two studies, using ‘big data’ to provide a snapshot of what happens in primary care for young people on the autism spectrum in Australia. 

Researchers looked at the reasons people visited their doctor, what problems were managed and what medications were prescribed to young people on the spectrum, in comparison to those not on the spectrum.

The studies analysed data collected from March 2000 to April 2014 of people aged up to 25 years.