There are two approaches to autism waiting time statistics published here; referred to as a “forward model” and a “reverse model”. Both contribute to a detailed picture of the experience of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnostic pathways.
Forward model approach
The forward model takes all referrals in a specified reporting period where the reason for the referral is suspected autism. We then look forward in time to the date of the first care contact related to those referrals. The waiting time taken here is the time from initial referral to the first care contact.
As illustrated above, the waiting time measured in the forward model (represented by the blue arrow) is the time between the initial referral date, coded as suspected autism, to the date of the first attended care contact (appointment) for that referral.
Reverse model approach
The reverse model takes all new diagnoses for autism in a specified reporting period. We then look back in time to the initial referral date for that diagnosis. This approach only relies on past data as all the events being measured have already happened at the time of diagnosis being recorded.
As illustrated above, the waiting time measured in the reverse model (represented by the blue arrow) is the time between an initial referral being made (irrespective of the coded reason for referral) and a formal diagnosis of autism being recorded.
More detailed descriptions of the analysis undertaken can be found on the construction page of this publication, found here.
These statistics are based on the information collected from the Mental Health Services Dataset. Further detail on the information captured within the Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS) is available here.
Last edited: 6 July 2021 8:33 am