Investigating Patterns of Emergency Department Use in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Principal Investigator: Roma Vasa

This protocol requires permission to utilize a de-identified research dataset: the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). Access to these data will advance the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that is associated with significant impairment in functioning. As a result of having access to this publicly available dataset, the principal investigator -- along with her co-investigators -- will be able to examine the prevalence and predictors of emergency department use among this population.

The prospective lines of research include:

  1. The prevalence of ASD and co-morbid psychopathology detected in emergency departments (ED) in the US
  2. The risk of self-injury presented at EDs and inpatient-admission from the ED among children with and without co-morbid psychiatric problems and ASD
  3. The child, visit, and hospital-related predictors associated with these outcomes

The principal investigator and her colleagues will conduct these investigations over the course of the next 10 years. This work will lead to a better understanding of the psychiatric and behavioral correlates associated with ED use among children with ASD in the US.