City Research Online

Strategies, challenges and enabling factors when imaging autistic individuals in Swiss medical imaging departments

Carlier, S., Vorlet, P., Sá Dos Reis, C. & Malamateniou, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2352-8575 (2023). Strategies, challenges and enabling factors when imaging autistic individuals in Swiss medical imaging departments. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 54(4), S53-S63. doi: 10.1016/j.jmir.2022.11.002


INTRODUCTION: Autistic individuals may require medical imaging but they can face barriers that are related to lack of adjustments in their care. This study aims to explore and understand strategies currently used by Swiss radiographers to image autistic patients and to propose recommendations for clinical practice.

METHODS: The Swiss Ethics of the canton of Vaud committee approved the study. Data collection was gathered using a mixed method approach by an online survey and followed by selected interviews. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to analyse the data.

RESULTS: A hundred completed responses to the survey were obtained and five individual interviews were conducted. Sixty participants reported having managed autistic patients. The main enablers identified were: the support from carers, adapting the behaviour of staff and customising communication. The main challenges were a lack of communication and the lack of knowledge about autism to appropriately manage the patient. Only five radiographers had received prior training in autism.

CONCLUSION: Medical imaging departments must develop protocols to overcome the lack of communication between services, radiographers, and autistic service users. The lack of radiographer knowledge about autism can impact autistic patient management, resulting in carers playing an important role during the examination. Customised education for radiographers about autism is needed.

IMPLICATION FOR PRACTICE: The development of a scheduling protocol for each imaging modality could improve communication with the patient. The organisation of the physical environment and the patient's preparation for the examination are critical to provide adequate imaging care. It is suggested that medical imaging professionals, autistic service users, and autism organisations collaborate to develop autism related guidelines for medical imaging examinations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Final for City publications_Autistic individuals in Swiss Medical Imaging Departments_modified_CSR_SC_CM.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (489kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login