Underlying factors behind the low prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in oman sociocultural perspective

Allal Ouhtit*, Yahya Al-Farsi, Marwan Al-Sharbati, Mostafa Waly, Ishita Gupta, Omar Al-Farsi, Maha Al-Khaduri, Mohammed Al-Shafaee, Samir Al-Adawi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological surveys from various countries indicate an increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), leading researchers to debate whether there are now ‘more affected’ or ‘more detected’. The epidemiology of ASD in developing countries, such as Oman, has generally indicated a lower prevalence compared to developed countries in the West. In Oman, the prevalence is low; however, this article highlights some of the factors that could contribute to the appearance of a low ASD rate: cross-cultural variations in the presentation of distress; a lack of reliable biological markers for diagnosing ASD, and a lack of health services for children with ASD, thus limiting the number of participants in epidemiological surveys. While the defining features of ASD have yet to be established, pilot studies in Oman indicate a substantial number of children with these disorders. Therefore, it is important that these discrepancies be addressed and the need for appropriate services for this patient population in Oman be highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e213-e217
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015


  • Autism
  • Culture
  • Oman
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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