Just under 1% of adults living in the community in England are estimated to have autism spectrum disorders

J. Pinborough-Zimmerman, A. V. Bakian
2011 Evidence-Based Mental Health  
Just under 1% of adults living in the community in England are estimated to have autism spectrum disorders QUESTION Question: What is the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in adults in England, and what are the characteristics of adults with ASD? Population: 7461 adults (age 16 years or older) living in the community. Participants were members of private households sampled for the third national Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in England. To select households for participation,
more » ... or participation, post code sectors were fi rst stratifi ed by socioeconomic status, then further stratifi ed based on proportions of adults in non-manual labour jobs and proportion of households without a motor vehicle as reported in 2001 census data. Postal code sectors were sampled from each stratum, yielding 519 selected postal code sectors. From each of these selected sectors, 28 addresses were randomly selected. Households with at least one person older than 16 years were eligible. Of these 14 532 addresses, 13 171 met eligibility criteria. Of the eligible households, 7461 agreed to participate (57% response rate). Survey data were weighted such that the results were representative of age, sex, region and area characteristics of the household population 16 years or older in England. Setting: General community dwelling population, England; 2007. Assessment: A three-phase assessment process was then used to identify individuals with ASD. A subset of questions from the validated Autism Spectrum Quotient-20 self-completion questionnaire was used in a phase 1 screen. Based on the results of this screen, a subset of participants was selected for phase 2 assessment (higher scores increased likelihood of being selected). Phase 2 assessments were based on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -Module 4 (ADOS-4). Participants with an ADOS-4 score of 10 or higher were considered to have ASD. To validate this threshold, a subset of participants, half of whom were thought to have ASD based on ADOS-4 score, were then included in a phase 3 developmental interview with family members or other suitable infor-
doi:10.1136/ebmh.2011.100181 pmid:22009229 fatcat:6mgcf5bopbajhe65u275lcya6y