Autism HealthPathways launched

18 Sep 2019

With the launch of the Autism HealthPathways Initiative in Mackay on 31 August, a new platform for health professionals is now available, creating the first steps towards a health pathway specifically for people on the autism spectrum. The platform facilitates access to up-to-date and evidence-based information to aid clinical decision-making around the health and wellbeing of people on the autism spectrum. 

Persons on the autism spectrum can experience unique health-related needs and may exhibit poorer physical and mental health outcomes in comparison to the general population. This initiative will equip Mackay GPs with the tools to help personalise treatment and management to improve the health care journey of people on the autism spectrum. Importantly, the initiative creates accessible local pathways.

The Autism HealthPathways content has been informed by extensive consultation with GPs. The team is still collecting feedback on the pathways, which were made live at end of July, and to date have had over 400 health professionals accessing the pathways.

More than 70 GPs, allied health professionals and educators attended the professional development event and launch of the Autism HealthPathways Initiative.

The Autism HealthPathways are a product of the Mackay Hospital and Health Service integrated health team in partnership with the Autism CRC, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network and other partners.

An additional project will ensure that the delivery of tools, strategies and techniques developed to improve health and wellbeing are accessible to autistic adults with intellectual disability and their caregivers.

Autism CRC is now investigating the best way to make these pathways available to as many GPs and health professionals across Australia and New Zealand as possible.  

Seven people stand in in front of banners for phn Norther Queensland, Mackay HealthyPathways and AutismCRC
Image (left to right): Dr Michalis Yiallourides Townsville Hospital Staff Specialist Paediatrics, Dr Aaron Kennedy Lead GP Clinical Editor Mackay HealthPathways, Katie Brooker Autism CRC funded postdoctoral research fellow UQ, Toni Simmons Integrated Health Manager/GPLO, Karin Barron Executive Director Mackay Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, Dr James Best NSW GP and Assoc. Professor David Harley Senior Clinician with the Mater Research Institute-UQ and Director to the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability.