Psychotropic Medication Use for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder who Receive Services and Supports Through Adult Developmental Disability Services in the United States
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have higher rates of co-occurring diagnoses and use of psychotropic medication prescriptions than people with other developmental disabilities. Few studies have examined these trends in samples of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with and without ASD. Using a random sample of 11,947 adult IDD service users from 25 states, co-occurring diagnoses and psychotropic medication use were compared for those with and without ASD. Regardless of diagnosis, individuals with ASD had higher percentages of psychotropic medication use. Controlling for co-occurring condition, age, gender, and ID level, a diagnosis of ASD predicted number of medications used. Further research is needed to understand why individuals with ASD are prescribed more medication, more often, than similarly functioning groups of individuals without ASD.
KeywordsIntellectual and developmental disabilities ID Autism spectrum disorder ASD Psychotropic medications Community living National core indicators
AE participated in study design and interpretation and drafted the manuscript; AH conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and helped to draft the manuscript; JHL participated in interpretation of the data and helped to draft the manuscript; SLP participated in the design of the study, performed the statistical analysis, and helped to draft the manuscript; and JH contributed to interpretation and drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This publication is supported by Grant #90RT5019-01-01 at the Research and Training Center for Community Living from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Grant # 90IF0101-03-00, United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), Administration on Community Living, Administration on IDD; and the University of Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MNLEND) Program, U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Grant 5 T73MC12835-09-00. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not therefore necessarily represent official NIDILRR, USDHHS, or MCHB policy.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Amy Esler declares that she has no conflict of interest. Amy Hewitt declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jennifer Hall-Lande declares that she has no conflict of interest. Sandra L. Pettingell declares that she has no conflict of interest. James Houseworth declares that he has no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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