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ECHO autism: A new model for training primary care providers in best-practice care for children with autism

TitleECHO autism: A new model for training primary care providers in best-practice care for children with autism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMazurek, MO, Brown, R, Curran, A, Sohl, KA
JournalClinical Pediatrics

Lead Author
Micah Mazurek

Study Aims and Objectives
To test a new model for training community-based doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in best-practice care for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
The ECHO Autism training model included biweekly clinics during which primary care providers (PCPs) were connected by videoconference to an interdisciplinary team of ASD specialists. The training focused on screening and medical management of children with autism. Through brief lectures, case-based learning, and guided practice, participants learned to use best-practice techniques in their own practices. To measure the effects of the program, fourteen participants completed surveys before and after 6 months of training.

Results – Main Finding(s) Participants’ confidence in their ability to provide high-quality care for children with ASD greatly increased. After participation in the program, participants also reported much higher use of recommended autism screening tools and resources. Participants also reported high satisfaction with the ECHO Autism program.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
In this small study, the ECHO Autism training model was successful in increasing primary care providers’ confidence and practice in screening and helping their patients with ASD. Larger studies are needed to determine whether this model can improve access to care for children with autism in their own communities.

PubMed ID27169714