Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians' Diagnosis and Coding of Overweight and Obesity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Bandini, Linda G.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Psychiatry
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center
Document TypeJournal Article
Keywordsautism spectrum disorder
Health Services Administration
Mental and Social Health
Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
Psychiatry and Psychology
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractOBJECTIVE: The prevalence of obesity in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is high, and managing obesity in children with ASD can be challenging. The study's objective was to examine developmental-behavioral pediatricians' (DBPs) coding practices for overweight/obesity in children with ASD and patient characteristics associated with coding. METHODS: We analyzed the clinical data on children with ASD with at least 1 visit at one of 3 developmental-behavioral pediatrics network sites between January 2010 and December 2011. Weight status was calculated using body mass index z-scores. For children meeting the criteria for overweight/obesity, we assessed the frequency of weight-related ICD-9 diagnosis codes at DBP visits, used multivariable logistic regression to determine characteristics associated with the presence of these codes, and examined the prevalence of weight-related codes relative to other diagnosis codes. RESULTS: The sample included 4542 children, ages 2 to 19 years. 15.5% of children met the criteria for overweight, 14.7% for obesity, and 6.3% for severe obesity. Of children meeting the criteria for overweight/obesity/severe obesity, 7.5% had a weight-related code documented at their visits. Children with obesity or severe obesity and older children had higher odds of having a weight-related code. Compared with not being on medications, atypical antipsychotics use was significantly associated with increased odds of having a weight-related code. Of 3802 unique ICD-9 diagnosis codes documented at any visit during the study period, only 4% were related to weight. CONCLUSION: Few children meeting the criteria for overweight/obesity had documented weight-related codes. Weight-related coding was more likely for children with obesity, who were older, and those taking atypical antipsychotics.
Walls M, Curtin C, Phillips S, Eliasziw M, Jackel C, Must A, Bandini L, Broder-Fingert S. Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians' Diagnosis and Coding of Overweight and Obesity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2020 May;41(4):258-264. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000783. PMID: 32040046. Link to article on publisher's site