Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 465–474 | Cite as

Knowledge and Attitude of General Practitioners Regarding Autism in Karachi, Pakistan

  • Mohammad Hossein Rahbar
  • Khalid Ibrahim
  • Parisa Assassi
original paper


General practitioners (GPs) could have an important role in early diagnosis of autism. There have been no studies evaluating the knowledge of GPs regarding autism in Pakistan. We aimed to fill that gap by assessing knowledge and attitude of GPs in Karachi regarding autism. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 348 GPs; only 148 (44.6%) had heard of “autism.” Our results show that GPs less than 30 years of age and those who obtained their Medical Degree in the last 5 years are more likely to report knowledge about autism: OR = 3.0; 95% CI: 1.71, 5.31, and OR = 2.56; 95% CI: 1.48, 4.42, respectively. In addition, among those reporting knowledge about autism, many held misconceptions regarding the signs and symptoms and etiology.


Autism spectrum disorders Knowledge General practitioner Pakistan 



We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Department of Psychiatry at Aga Khan University (AKU) during the data collection period. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge the support provided by Dr. Murad Moosa Khan and Dr. Ehsan Ullah Syed for providing office space and supervising the project coordinator during his stay on the AKU campus. This project could not have been completed without the assistance of our local data collection team Aziez Ahmed, Hassan Bashir, Abdul Latif Bikak, Mediha Iqbal, Muntazir Hussain, Samia Hussain, Faraz Karim, Abdul Shahid Sattar, Nabeel Siddiqui, and Shunaiber Tauhid. We acknowledge partial financial support provided by Epidemiology department and College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Also, we acknowledge the support provided by Dr. Manouchehr Ardjomand-Hessabi and Ms. Kari Bloom in the Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design (BERD) Core of the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) for this project. CCTS is mainly funded by NIH CTSA grant (UL1 RR024148), awarded to the UTHSC-Houston in 2006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Hossein Rahbar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Khalid Ibrahim
    • 3
  • Parisa Assassi
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of EpidemiologyThe University of Texas School of Public Health at HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design Core Center for Clinical and Translational SciencesThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, College of Human MedicineMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  4. 4.Division of Management, Policy and Community HealthThe University of Texas School of Public Health at HoustonHoustonUSA

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