Primary Care Physicians’ Knowledge of Autism and Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism: A Systematic Review

  • Gerard McCormack
  • Alison C. Dillon
  • Olive Healy
  • Chloe Walsh
  • Sinéad LydonEmail author
Review Paper


Given the increasing prevalence of autism and the importance of early intervention, it is imperative that primary care physicians (PCPs) have a thorough knowledge of autism in order to offer families appropriate guidance and support. This study comprised a systematic review of research assessing PCPs’ knowledge of autism and evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism. Results indicated that PCPs in a majority of studies had inadequate knowledge of autism and its associated treatments. A variety of variables were associated with PCPs’ knowledge including personal experiences with autism, continuing medical education on autism, and years of clinical experience. Results are discussed with regard to their implications for further education in autism for PCPs and future research.


Primary care General practice Physician Doctor Evidence-based intervention Autism 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40489_2019_189_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
40489_2019_189_MOESM2_ESM.docx (44 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 44 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.School of MedicineNational University of Ireland GalwayGalwayIreland

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