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Psicologia: teoria e prática

versão impressa ISSN 1516-3687


FOMBONNE, Éric. Current issues in epidemiogical studies of autism. Psicol. teor. prat. [online]. 2019, vol.21, n.3, pp. 405-417. ISSN 1516-3687.

Epidemiological surveys have increased in number and complexity. This paper focuses on a few selected issues that persist in the field of autism epidemiology today. Recent surveys have improved case ascertainment by including a regular school survey component, and they have consistently identified cases which were undiagnosed. However, the logistic of these surveys is complex, and the data analysis of these complex survey designs can lead to serious over- and sometimes under-estimation of overall population prevalence. Other issues discussed concern techniques used to confirm and validate caseness in surveys. Surveys relying on mechanical use of diagnostic algorithms or single questionnaire answers are plagued with measurement error. The impact of the repeated changes in nosographical systems and the recent changes of DSM-5 are discussed. Issues specific to surveys of adults and preschoolers are briefly reviewed. Finally, contributions from international studies and the need for further cross-cultural comparisons are considered.

Palavras-chave : Autism Spectrum Disorder; epidemiology; prevalence; methodology; global health.

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