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Mapping Geospatial Gaps in Early Identification of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Authors
  • DeGuzman, Pamela B
  • Altrui, Paige
  • Allen, Marcus
  • Deagle, Cornelia Ramsey
  • Keim-Malpass, Jessica
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates & Practitioners
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
Volume
31
Issue
6
Pages
663–670
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2017.05.003
PMID: 28688939
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite the known developmental benefits of early intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diagnosis before age 5 years is often not achieved. Research suggests that lack of health insurance and living in rural areas and areas of severe provider shortages contribute significantly to these delays. The purpose of this project was to conduct a geospatial evaluation of potential gaps in early ASD diagnosis of uninsured children in Virginia. A secondary purpose was to show the use of geospatial analysis by pediatric nurse practitioners for policy advocacy. We mapped data from a statewide provider of ASD evaluative services associated with the Virginia Department of Health and found several communities with high numbers of uninsured children where children may not be receiving early diagnostic services. Pediatric nurse practitioners can help address community-level gaps in early identification of ASD for uninsured young children living in rural areas by conducting outreach programs to providers and families within rural communities and concurrently partnering with nurse-scientists to develop visually impactful geospatial analyses to educate legislators and further advocate for policy positions.

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