Forging new HealthPathways

Published
8 Feb 2021.

Autism HealthPathways are now available for adoption and adaptation in 43 health regions, caring for more than 28 million people across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

HealthPathways is a web-based health information site that assists health practitioners, particularly General Practitioners (GPs), to guide patients through the health system.

HealthPathways Clinical Editor and Mackay GP, Dr Aaron Kennedy, said “These autism-specific pathways are the first of their kind and will be shared across the international HealthPathways community. Importantly, this initiative equips GPs with the tools to help personalise treatment and management to improve the health care journey of autistic people across the lifespan.”

Autism HealthPathways were developed and launched in August 2019, a result of more than two years work under an Autism CRC research and development project led by the Mackay Hospital and Health Service's Integrated Health team in partnership with Northern Queensland Primary Health Network and other partners. The pathways facilitate access to up-to-date and evidence-based information to aid clinical decision-making.

To date the team has developed autism-related content in nine HealthPathways to support the assessment and clinical care of children and adults. Developed in consultation with more than 50 GPs, the pathways cover autism assessment and support, intellectual disability, developmental concerns, and mental health conditions, with a particular focus on post-diagnosis supports.  

Autistic people can experience unique health-related needs and may exhibit poorer physical and mental health outcomes in comparison to the general population. Since release, the Autism HealthPathways have been accessed by more than 2,600 health professionals in the Mackay region. 

To find out more about adapting or adopting Autism HealthPathways for your region, contact your local HealthPathways team directly via the HealthPathways Community website.

More information

Autism CRC HealthPathways Autism Initiative Project

HealthPathways Community website