A recent Israeli study found that people with autism feel pain more than others.
Researchers told The Times of Israel this week that the findings should have a major impact on how medical professionals treat people with autism.
The idea that people with autism are pain-insensitive has begun to be questioned over the past decade. A 2013 study found that the latest research suggests: [autism spectrum disorder] It is the pain desensitized that needs to be challenged. ”
Israeli researchers are now conducting the most comprehensive study to date measuring pain responses in people with autism. Not only did he dissent, but in fact he concluded that the opposite was true.
“The results of our study show that, for the most part, people with autism actually have a higher sensitivity to pain than most of the population,” said one of the authors of the Tel Aviv University School of Medicine. said Dr. Tami Bar-Shalita. The peer-reviewed study was published last August in the journal Pain, but is now only published by the university.
She said the study provides important lessons for medical professionals to take immediate action.
“Sometimes medical professionals actually treat people with autism on the assumption that they have less pain,” she said. , nurses, and others should know that people with autism are in more pain, treat them, and take steps to reduce or manage their pain.”
This can range from procedures such as applying an anesthetic cream before blood draws to spending extra time at the bedside to acknowledge pain.
The study, conducted by Bar Shalita with colleagues at Tel Aviv University and collaborators at the University of Haifa and the Rambam Health Care Center, included 52 normal intelligence adults with high-functioning autism. It is the world’s largest sample reported in the study. about pain in autistic patients.
Controlled pain, such as heat, was administered to autistic participants and a control sample, and people ranked their pain on a scale of 0 to 100. Experiments were performed on volunteers and approved by the Ethics Committee. it was done.
The findings “provide beyond doubt that people with autism have more scars,” the researchers concluded.
Bar-Shalita says doctors often assume that people with autism can’t feel pain.
“We hope this study will help medical professionals better understand how people with autism experience and describe pain.”