Improving the hospital experience for inpatients with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A co-design project

Ms Ellen Hibbert1, Ms Sally  Brinkmann1, Ms Courtney Pocock1, Ms  Merridy Moore1

1Western Health , St Albans , Australia

Background: The 2017 Parliament of Victoria Inquiry into Services for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) revealed key issues for individuals with ASD and their families when integrating with healthcare services. They reported poor hospital experience during inpatient admissions at mainstream health services due to limited staff awareness and support of their unique sensory, communication, social and behavioural needs. Allied Health (AH) at Western Health (WH) has identified a gap in how staff supports people with ASD and their families whilst they are engaging with inpatient services.

Methods: This project utilises an Experienced Based Co-design (EBCD) process to investigate the lived experience of people with ASD and their families/carers when they are admitted to hospital. The information gained within the EBCD process will inform development and trial of a model of care and associated resources to improve patient experience.

Specifically, the project is conducted in 2 phases:

  • Phase One: Involves completion of a EBCD filmed interview, consumer and staff focus groups and resource development utilising EBCD methodology.
  • Phase Two: Involves the trial of resources and a model of care on two inpatient wards and evaluation of their effectiveness in supporting an improved patient experience for inpatients with ASD.

Results: The results of the phase one EBCD process will be presented with additional discussion regarding future directions, phase two model of care development and testing.

Discussion: AH at WH are leading an EBCD process utilising insights from people with ASD and their families, to examine barriers and solutions to health access and barriers to a positive hospital experience.  Results of this project will inform future development of models of care and education as directed by the lived experience of people with ASD and their families.


Biography: To be confirmed

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