Research with adults on the autism spectrum is as yet limited in scope and quality. The present study describes quality of life (QoL) of a large sample of autistic adults in the UK and investigates characteristics that may be predictive of QoL. A total of 370 autistic adults from the Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort‐UK (ASC‐UK) completed the WHOQoL‐BREF, and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS, autism symptom severity), along with the ASC‐UK registration questionnaire giving information on mental health and their life situation. QoL for autistic adults was lower than for the general population for each WHOQoL domain. Younger participants reported higher QoL than older participants in psychological and environment domains. Males reported higher physical QoL than females, and females reported higher social QoL than males. Significant positive predictors of QoL were: being employed (physical QoL), receiving support (social and environment QoL), and being in a relationship (social QoL). Having a mental health condition and higher SRS total score were negative predictors of QoL across all four domains. Autistic adults require access to effective mental health interventions, and informal and formal support for their social difficulties, to improve their quality of life.
David Mason Helen McConachie Deborah Garland Alex Petrou Jacqui Rodgers Jeremy R. Parr
Autism Research, 07 May 2018