Accuracy; Autism; Diagnosis; Medical care; Multidisciplinary/transdisciplinary; Physicians


Community-Based Research | Diagnosis | Public Health


The purpose of this study is to compare the diagnostic decision-making of individual healthcare practitioners against that of a transdisciplinary team. Despite national recognition of transdisciplinary assessment as the gold standard diagnostic approach, autism is most frequently diagnosed by individuals working independently in a variety of disciplines. The current study examined how closely these individual practitioners make diagnoses matching that of a transdisciplinary team. Twenty professionals from five different disciplines viewed videotape clips of fifteen children previously assessed by a transdisciplinary team. Results confirmed that individual healthcare practitioners matched the transdisciplinary team diagnosis on average only 65.6% of the time. Pediatricians were the least accurate diagnosticians compared to the transdisciplinary team with an accuracy rate of only 59.8%. Implications of these results are discussed with respect to the ways in which team transdisciplinary assessments overcome the limitations of individual practitioner diagnosis.