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Clinical Trial Summary

Autism Access Link for Early Referral and Treatment [ALERT], the intervention proposed in this application, is a novel state-wide referral and case management platform that PCPs can activate to ensure that a child with suspected ASD receives all necessary ASD diagnosis and treatment resources in a single referral, radically simplifying a complex diagnostic and treatment process. We hypothesize that Autism ALERT will have strong acceptability and high rates of use among primary care providers as well as among diverse low-income patients of children at risk for ASD, and that we will see higher rates of child ASD educational evaluations within six months, and shorter time between referral and ASD treatment, compared with our control.


Clinical Trial Description

Though significant research effort has focused on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening, less attention has been devoted to optimizing follow-up of children who are subsequently identified as at-risk. Despite increases in ASD screening rates, many children with ASD wait years between when autism is suspected in the primary care setting and when definitive diagnosis and treatment begin. Delayed and missed diagnoses are particularly problematic for low-income and racial/ethnic minority children in the US, who experience higher rates of these adverse outcomes. In this project, we propose to pilot test Autism Access Link to Early Referral and Treatment (Autism ALERT), a statewide monitoring and case management program to accelerate access to ASD diagnosis and treatment among children with suspected ASD the primary care setting. The system will reduce the time between identification of suspected ASD in the primary care setting and establishment of ASD diagnosis and treatment services, by reducing family barriers to care, decreasing primary care provider burdens, and simplifying referral processes. The program will be available to any Oregon child age 12-54 months, regardless of health system or payor type. Autism ALERT will become part of the Help Me Grow national network, which gives it potential for statewide and national spread. In this proposed research, we will pilot test Autism ALERT by comparing it to an existing ASD screening intervention in 6 Oregon primary care practices. Primary goals of this pilot project are to assess feasibility and acceptability of Autism ALERT for primary care providers and families, to test the mechanism of action of Autism ALERT, to pilot test efficacy in reducing time to autism diagnosis and treatment, and to test fidelity of protocol implementation. If successful, this project will be expanded into an implementation/effectiveness R01 in which the program will be tested throughout the state of Oregon. In the long term, this research will result in a sustainable, evidence-based statewide and ultimately national monitoring system children with suspected ASD. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT04861740
Study type Interventional
Source Oregon Health and Science University
Contact Landon J Beeson, BA
Phone 503-494-6726
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date March 18, 2021
Completion date March 2023

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