An exploration of nursing professionals’ understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Shabalala, Nokuthula en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Matenge, Batetshi en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-26T14:19:07Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-26T14:19:07Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Matenge, B. 2014. An exploration of nursing professionals’ understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12880
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is increasing at an alarming rate. Research indicates that early identification and diagnosis is key in terms of children receiving early intervention. However, many children are not being identified as early as possible by their primary health care providers. This research investigated nursing professional’s experiences of working with autism spectrum disorder in a clinic setting. Using phenomenology theory as the epistemological framework, thematic analysis was conducted on ten in-depth interviews with nursing professionals working in the public sector. Three main groupings for the findings emerged from the interpretative analysis: 1) nursing professionals’ knowledge, understanding and awareness of autism spectrum disorder, 2) screening practices of nursing professionals; and 3) identified challenges in screening for autism spectrum disorder. Although the majority of the nursing professionals showed a good understanding of some aspects of the condition, there was some confusion about some key facts concerning the disorder, the characteristics of ASD and scientific terminology, and an inaccurate understanding of early intervention treatments. Nursing professionals’ screening efforts remain poor despite the diagnostic value of routine screening for early childhood developmental delays. Limited services and resources, a lack of communication between primary and secondary systems, time restrictions, work pressure and inadequate training are all barriers that prevent nursing professionals from conducting routine screening during child wellness visits, resulting in missed opportunities for detecting autism spectrum disorders in the early months or years. This research highlights the urgent need to look into strategies that would improve and support efforts for conducting early screening in primary health care clinics. Implications for future research in this area are also addressed. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Psychology en_ZA
dc.title An exploration of nursing professionals’ understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Psychology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MSocSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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