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Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Anesthesia and Radiographic Context

Berglund, Ingalill Gimbler PhLic; Björkman, Berit PhD; Enskär, Karin PhD; Faresjö, Maria PhD; Huus, Karina PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: April 2017 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 187–196
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000432
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Objective: As a primary objective, this study purports to develop guidelines to better care for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), particularly regarding these children's preparation for anesthesia and radiologic procedures.

Methods: Using a Delphi method with an online distribution of questionnaire, guidelines for caring for children with ASD were created. Twenty-one participants were included in the expert panel. These participants were working with children with ASD in several anesthesia and radiology departments in Sweden. A list of items was created from a previous survey and the literature. In the first round, the items with <60% agreement were discarded. Items were merged, and a new list was created. Two more similar rounds were performed. In the last 2 rounds, 21 participants responded, and 80% agreement was considered to be consensus.

Results: The final guidelines consisted of 14 items and a checklist of 16 factors. The 5 areas covered by the items and the checklist were as follows: planning involving parents/guardians, features in the environment, and use of time, communication, and the health care professionals. The organization was important in making it possible for the health care professional to care for the individual child according to the child's needs. It was important to involve the parents/guardians to obtain knowledge about the functioning of the child.

Conclusion: A caring encounter involving a child with ASD in the anesthesia and radiology contexts requires advance planning, catered specifically to the individual needs of each child. To accomplish this, general knowledge regarding ASD and ASD's particular manifestation in the child entrusted to their care is required from the health care workers. The organization needs to have structures in place to facilitate this process.

This article has supplementary material on the web site: www.jdbp.org.

*CHILD Research Group, Department of Nursing, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden;

CHILD Research Group, Department of Natural Science and Biomedicine, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden;

Department of Natural Science and Biomedicine, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping Sweden;

§Division of Diagnostics, Jönköping, Sweden.

Address for reprints: Ingalill Gimbler Berglund, PhLic, Department of Nursing, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Box 1026, 55111 Jönköping, Sweden; e-mail: gbin@ju.se.

This research has not been funded by any external funds. The research has received grants to cover the cost for language correction from the Academy for health and care, Jönköping county council.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

All the work has been done within the scope of employment.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jdbp.org).

Received September , 2016

Accepted January , 2017

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.