The 2013 Children Attending Paediatricians Study (CAPS).

APRN members were invited to take part in the 2013 CAPS study which ran from November 18th to December 2nd– the second national audit of paediatrician practice. We asked 376 APRN members from around the country to provide a ‘snapshot’ of care for the children members see in their private clinics and outpatient rooms. 180 (48%) of our members took part!

What we asked members to do

CAPS involved members recording brief, de-identified information on every patient members they saw over a two-week period in members' private practice and/or public outpatients. It did not involve inpatients. We asked members to record information about diagnoses, investigations, medications, referrals, and treatment. This took approximately 2 minutes per child, based on our 2008 audit.

How CAPS counts towards MyCPD

By taking part, members could have earned 3 credits per hour in Category 5: Practice Review and Appraisal of the RACP MyCPD program. We sent participating paediatricians a certificate of completion and an individualised feedback profile of their practice compared to the "average" APRN paediatrician.

How CAPS help paediatricians

CAPS provides vital information about healthcare, costs, and variation in practice, which in turn informs future research, training and practice improvement.

Example from our 2008 CAPS audit found that:

  • 18% of all diagnoses were for ADHD but there was large variation in how children were diagnosed and managed. This has led to piloting a longitudinal study on ADHD care in WA and Victoria.
  • Many paediatricians manage food allergy but again with variation in care. This led to a pilot of online allergy training for general paediatricians, and a current NHMRC grant application to compare general paediatric with allergist care in Queensland and Victoria.

Preliminary results from the CAPS 2013:

  • 180 of 376 (48%) of paediatricians took part in which the average number of patients seen was 39.5 over two weeks
  • The average age of patients was 7.6 years (SD 5.6 years) and 56.6% were male patients on average.

The Top 5 diagnoses were:

  2. ASD
  3. Learning difficulty/disability
  4. Anxiety
  5. Behaviour

What's next for the CAPS study?

We plan on publishing our data in academic journals and are currently in the process of writing manuscripts on the data. Further publications under preparation include:

  • Management of anxiety
  • Psychotropic medications
  • Management of enuresis


Hiscock H, Danchin MH, Efron D, Gulenc A, Hearps S, Freed GL, Perera P, Wake M. Trends in paediatric practice in Australia: 2008 and 2013 national audits from the Australian Paediatric Research Network. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,53: 55–61. doi:10.1111/jpc.13280​ JPCH link

Efron D, Cranswick NE, Danchin M, Gulenc A, Hearps S & Hiscock H. Medication Prescribed by Paediatricians: Psychotropics predominate. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Accepted 12th April 2017

For enquiries for taking part in CAPS, please contact