Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1854–1860 | Cite as

Brief Report: Factors Associated with Emergency Department Visits for Epilepsy Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Wanqing Zhang
  • Grace Baranek
  • Brian Boyd
Brief Report


We examined how demographic and clinical characteristics differ between emergency department (ED) visits for epilepsy (EP cohort) and ED visits for other reasons (non-EP cohort) in children with ASD. The data were drawn from the 2009 and 2010 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. We performed both univariate and multivariate analyses to compare and contrast similarities and differences between EP cohort and non-EP cohort among children with ASD. The results showed ED visits in EP cohort were more likely to occur among adolescents aged 13–17 years, less likely to occur among children with co-occurring psychiatric conditions, and were more likely to co-occur with injury. We discussed some unique challenges for managing children with both ASD and epilepsy.


Autism Epilepsy Emergency department (ED) Children with ASD 



This study was partially supported by Grant # R40MC27475-01-05, MCH Research Program, from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For further information, contact: Wanqing Zhang, PhD, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 321S. Columbia Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7122; E-mail:; Tel: 919-962-4019. The authors would like to acknowledge the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) for supplying the data for this analysis.

Author Contributions

WZ conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, drafted the manuscript, and performed the statistical analysis; GB participated in the design and coordination of the study, interpretation of the data, and critically revised the manuscript; BB participated in the design and interpretation of the data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Dr. Zhang declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dr. Baranek declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dr. Boyd declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Rights

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Allied Health Sciences, School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational TherapyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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