Health professionals’ training on autism spectrum disorders

Health professionals’ training on autism spectrum disorders
Vaya Papageorgiou*, Efrosini Kalyva^, and Υiannis Vogindroukas*
* Medical Psycho-Pedagogical Centre of North Greece,
Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki, Greece
^ City Liberal Studies,

Health professionals working with individuals with autism and their families need to
be aware of the exact nature of autism, of effective treatments, and of available
services. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a training
programme on autism spectrum disorders that was organised and implemented by the
Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece. The trainees were 25 health
professionals who worked in various National Health Services and were in contact
with individuals with autism. They attended a training programme sponsored by the
Greek Ministry of Health and the European Union that consisted of 45 hours of theory
and 35 hours of practice. The aim of the programme was to make health professionals
aware of issues pertaining to identification and treatment of autistic spectrum
disorders. It was found that the training programme was effective in enhancing health
professionals’ understanding of autism and the ways that it can be treated. Findings
were discussed in terms of designing effective training programmes of health
professionals who work with individuals with autism and their families.