Education Specialist (Ed.S.)
Degree Granting Department
Psychological and Social Foundations
Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D.
Kathleen Armstrong, Ph.D.
Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.
primary care, pediatrician, school psychology
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have increased rates for sleep problems compared with typically developing children. Although physicians practicing in pediatric primary care settings have the potential to detect and address sleep problems at an early age, research investigating the sleep management practices of pediatricians in primary care is scant and does not particularly address children with ASD. This study investigated the frequency of sleep screening measures utilized by pediatric providers during well-child examinations, the most frequently recommended treatments, the barriers and facilitators to screening for sleep problems, and the perceived confidence of pediatricians with regard to screening for sleep problems in children ages 2-10 years with ASD. Survey data from members of the Hillsborough County Medical Association were collected and analyzed. Seventy-three percent of participants reported almost always screening for a sleep problem during well-child examinations. Findings indicate that pediatric healthcare providers acknowledge the importance of managing sleep problems in primary care settings. Barriers to screening for sleep problems during routine exams included lack of time, resources, and awareness of screening tools. Facilitators to screening for sleep problems during routine exams included shorter sleep screening tools and longer exams. Pediatric providers were moderately confident in their ability to manage sleep problems in primary care settings. A significant relationship was found between confidence level and a number of perceived barriers. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Scholar Commons Citation
Edwards, Kristin Lynn, "Sleep Disorders in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study of an Assessment of Pediatric Providers' Practices and Perceptions" (2018). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.