Health Equity Promotion for Sexual and Gender Minorities on the Autism Spectrum

Institutions: Kaiser Permanente, CUNY Hunter College
Twitter: @drgrahamholmes

Project Overview

A substantial proportion of autistic adolescents and adults are SGM. SGM face unique health challenges and have different patterns of service utilization compared to non- SGM. Evidence suggests health disparities and service inequities experienced by SGM may be compounded for autistic people.  The study aimed to use a large, representative sample from an integrated healthcare delivery system to examine potential health disparities. Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), the largest and oldest integrated healthcare delivery organization in the U.S., with 4.8 million members that broadly represented the statewide population, including 21,500 autistic youth and adults, served as the data source.

The study described population characteristics of autistic SGM (age, race, co-occurring intellectual disability) and examined medical and psychiatric conditions, as well as service utilization, among autistic SGM aged 12-65+ compared to autistic cisgender heterosexuals. The immediate goal was to fill knowledge gaps, with the ultimate aim of providing a foundation for partnering with stakeholders to develop scalable interventions that promoted health equity.

Collaborating Institutions

Kaiser Permanente Northern California
CUNY Hunter College

Project Mentors and Contributors

Yinge Qian, M.S.2 Reid Caplan, M.A.3 Cori Fraser, B.S.W.3 Dena Gassner, M.S.W.3 Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, M.A., Ph.D.3 Morrigan Hunter, M.A., M.S.W.3 Anna I. R. van der Miesen, M.D., Ph.D.4 Lindsey Nebeker, B.A.3 Ryan Taylor, L.C.S.W.3 Lisa A. Croen, Ph.D.2