Recommendations for Improving Gastrointestinal Health among Autistic Adults: A Mixed-Methods Community-Based Participatory Study

Note: Project has since been renamed to GI: Wanna Talk About Autism

Institution: Kennedy Krieger Institute

Project Overview

The "GI Wanna Talk About Autism" study focuses on understanding the gastrointestinal (GI) experiences of autistic adults and generating actionable recommendations to enhance GI health within this community.

A participatory research approach was used, involving a Community Board that influenced the study's direction at every stage. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 27 participants, primarily autistic adults, and some parents of autistic adults, using Zoom for data collection.

Interview transcripts were analyzed to identify themes about lived experiences with GI symptoms. These findings led to a preliminary set of recommendations for improving GI health.

Feedback from the Community Board and additional qualitative interviews, along with a broader electronic survey, will refine the recommendations. The findings will be shared through peer-reviewed publications and various educational materials, with the aim of informing larger-scale research grants.

Project Mentors and Contributors

Margaret Johnson, Liz Pellicano