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Qualitative exploration of the barriers to, and facilitators of, screening children for autism spectrum disorder in Oman

Al Maskari, Turkiya; Melville, Craig; Al Farsi, Yahya; Wahid, Rasha; Willis, Diane


Turkiya Al Maskari

Craig Melville

Yahya Al Farsi

Rasha Wahid


Few studies explored the challenges associated with screening of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Arab and Middle Eastern countries. This study aims to explore the facilitators of and barriers to screening for ASD in Oman. The study reported the initial qualitative phase of a mixed-method design that conducted two focus group discussions, involving 13 nurses and general practitioners (GPs) from primary healthcare settings. Participants were recruited using a purposive and snowballing technique. Discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The Framework Analysis was used to identify recurrent themes within and across groups. Both groups were positive about introducing screening for ASD. However, they felt burdened with responsibilities and lacked the infrastructure and an awareness of ASD services in Oman, as well as the essential skills to undertake screening. Additionally, limited public awareness of ASD and an interest in traditional medicine, as well as social stigma were considered barriers to screening.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 15, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2018
Publication Date 2020-08
Deposit Date Feb 11, 2019
Journal Early Child Development and Care
Print ISSN 0300-4430
Electronic ISSN 1476-8275
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 190
Issue 11
Pages 1762-1777
Keywords Autism, Oman, screening, focus group, barriers,
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