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J Autism Dev Disord. 2002 Feb;32(1):13-23.

Diagnostic conceptualization of autism among Indian psychiatrists, psychologists, and pediatricians.

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Department of Psychology, University of California-Los Angeles, 90095-1563, USA.


Diagnostic criteria for autism and background characteristics used by 937 Indian psychiatrists, psychologists and pediatricians were examined. Participants were asked to rate 18 behaviors as necessary for a diagnosis of autism, helpful but not necessary, or not helpful in a diagnosis of autism, and were asked to provide other information about their experiences with autism. Professionals' experience with diagnosing cases did not vary by profession and, in general, the three professions agreed about the characteristics most necessary for a diagnosis. However, within-group differences were found on the agreement over the usefulness of individual characteristics and amount of experience diagnosing cases as autistic. Comparisons with DSM-III and DSM-IV criteria suggest that Indian professionals may adhere to these systems. Conclusions about diagnosis in a cultural context and areas for future research are suggested.

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