The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) research agenda

Alice A. Kuo, Emily Hotez, Kashia A. Rosenau, Candace Gragnani, Priyanka Fernandes, Madeline Haley, Dawn Rudolph, Lisa A Croen, Maria L. Massolo, Laura Graham-Holmes, Paul Shattuck, Lindsay Shea, Rujuta B. Wilson, Julian A. Martinez-Agosto, Heather M. Brown, Patrick S. Dwyer, Dena L. Gassner, Steven Kenneth Kapp, Ari Ne’eman, Jackie G. RyanTC Waisman, Zachary J. Williams, Jessica N. DiBari, Dana M. Foney, Lauren R. Ramos, Michael D. Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objective: In the United States, autistic individuals experience disproportionate physical and mental health challenges relative to non-autistic individuals, including higher rates of co-occurring and chronic conditions and lower physical, social, and psychological health-related quality of life. The Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) is an interdisciplinary, multicenter research network for scientific collaboration and infrastructure that aims to increase the life expectancy and quality of life for autistic individuals, with a focus on underserved/vulnerable populations. The current paper describes the development of the AIR-P Research Agenda.

Methods: Development of the Research Agenda involved an iterative and collaborative process between the AIR-P Advisory Board, Steering Committee, and Autistic Researcher Review Board. The methodology consisted of three phases: 1) Ideation and Design; 2) Literature Review and Synthesis; and 3) Network Engagement.

Results: Six core research priorities related to the health of autistic individuals were identified: 1) Primary Care Services and Quality; 2) Community-Based Lifestyle Interventions; 3) Health Services and Systems; 4) Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Health; 5) Neurology; and 6) Genetics. Specific topics within each of these priorities were identified. Four cross-cutting research priorities were also identified: 1) neurodiversity-oriented care; 2) facilitating developmental transitions; 3) methodologically rigorous intervention studies; and 4) addressing health disparities.

The AIR-P Research Agenda represents an important step forward for enacting large-scale health-promotion efforts for autistic individuals across the lifespan. This Agenda will catalyze autism research in historically underrepresented topic areas while adopting a neurodiversity-oriented approach to health-promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020049437D
Number of pages8
Issue numberSupp 4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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