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Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adult Outpatient Psychiatry

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Relatively little has been published about the prevalence of autism in adults with psychiatric disorders. In this study, all new patients referred to an adult psychiatric outpatient clinic in Sweden between November 2019 and October 2020 (n = 562) were screened for autism spectrum disorders using the Ritvo Autism and Asperger Diagnostic Scale Screen (RAADS-14). Out of the 304 (58%) responders, 197 who scored above the cut off (14) were invited to participate in an in-depth assessment. Twenty-six of the 48 that participated in the assessment met criteria for ASD and an additional eight had subthreshold ASD symptoms. We estimated the prevalence of ASD in this population to at least 18.9%, with another 5–10% having subthreshold symptoms.

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This study was funded in part by Region Skåne (the public healthcare of Skåne county, Sweden) and in part by the Annmari and Per Ahlqvist Foundation.

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JN and EB were involved in drafting the manuscript. JE, MG and CG contributed to the article by revising it and approving the final version. All authors made substantial contributions to the design of the study or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the study.

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Correspondence to Johan Nyrenius.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Nyrenius, J., Eberhard, J., Ghaziuddin, M. et al. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adult Outpatient Psychiatry. J Autism Dev Disord 52, 3769–3779 (2022).

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