Yaqoub Saadeh

Major: Psychology
Purdue School of Science
Supervisor: Dr. Jill Fodstad
Department: IU School of Medicine

Strengths, Barriers, and Needs to Improve Acute Psychiatric Care in General Hospital-Based Settings for Autistic Persons: IUPUI Findings from a Multi-Stakeholder Evaluation

The goal of this study is to develop an autism spectrum disorder-specific staff training and treatment protocol to implement in emergency departments and general psychiatry units. This project is important as autistic individuals often receive non-therapeutic psychiatry care when they experience acute mental health crises. Interviewing parents of individuals with autism as well as healthcare providers who have treated autistic individuals ensures that developed strategies are well suited to the needs of unit staff and providers. A new phase of the study began last summer where higher functioning autistic individuals are interviewed as an additional stakeholder group. It is important to incorporate the opinions of these individuals since they are most affected by lack of awareness when it comes to autism spectrum disorder. Once all the interviews are conducted, we will analyze the data to inform the development of strategies to make autistic patients stay more in line with their unique needs and more effective overall.