IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1684: Predictors of Caregivers` Satisfaction with the Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Study at Multiple Levels of Health Care (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: Caregivers are the initial gatekeepers in the health care management of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the factors associated with caregivers’ satisfaction with different levels of health care services in managing children with ASD in Kelantan. The satisfaction scores of 227 main caregivers of confirmed ASD children were assessed with a modified Parent Satisfaction Scale (PSS) questionnaire. Results: The analysis showed that caregivers who waited longer for a doctor’s consultation in primary care had a reduced PSS score, whereas caregivers who were satisfied with the waiting time in primary care had higher PSS scores. At the secondary care level, caregivers who possessed at least a diploma had reduced PSS scores, whereas caregivers who were satisfied with both doctors’ consultation times and occupational therapy appointments had higher PSS scores. At the tertiary care level, caregivers with an underlying medical problem and who had children undergoing occupational therapy for two months or more had reduced PSS scores. Nevertheless, the analysis showed that caregivers who were concerned with their children’s sleeping problems, who had been informed about parental support, who were satisfied with speech and occupational therapy appointments, who were satisfied with waiting times at tertiary care clinics, and who were satisfied with their doctor’s knowledge and experience had higher PSS scores. Conclusions: This study elucidated the importance of understanding caregivers’ satisfaction in attaining care for their ASD children and highlighted the need to promote factors that would increase caregivers’ satisfaction with current ASD services.