Anxiety in female adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: Lessons for healthcare professionals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Despite awareness of the high prevalence of anxiety in females with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), females report high unmet service needs regarding mental health concerns. Aim: This study explored experiences of anxiety in female adolescences with ASD, their management of it, and their experiences of mental health services in the United Kingdom. Methods: Utilising an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, six females with ASD, aged between 13 to 15 years and referred to mental health services, took part in semi-structured interviews. Results: The analysis generated the following themes: the central experience of anxiety; the impact of the surrounding world; mismatch between needs and support; and the value of self-management. The themes emphasised a need for a more general acceptance of ASD-related anxiety triggers such as sensory overload and uncertainty to change. Discussion: Adolescents raised concerns around the appropriateness of support provided for their anxiety, including awareness raising initiatives around ASD which only served to heighten their anxiety. Conclusions: Healthcare professionals need to have a better understanding of ASD-related anxiety in females. To improve outcomes, better service knowledge and communications around ASD-related anxiety are important for the assessment of anxiety as well as tailored ASD interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalQualitative Health Communication (QHC)
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Anxiety in female adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: Lessons for healthcare professionals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this