The Multi-Topic survey is an amalgamation of several short surveys on important member-nominated topics. We hope the survey will provide important new information that leads on to larger APRN studies.

The 2011 Multi Topic Survey had 3 topics led by Australian paediatricians; managing unsettled babies, IgE mediated food allergy and E-Learning. The online survey was sent to all APRN members on the 1st of December 2011 and closed on the 30th of April 2012.

Please see our December 2012 newsletter for an update.

Below is an outline of each study, how your answers provided valuable information.

Managing Unsettled Babies

Romi Rimer, Harriet Hiscock & Hava Gadassi

In the 2009 Delphi Study, paediatricians around Australia ranked the management of unsettled babies in the top 10 of research questions they would like answered. Whilst there is no gold standard for managing this common paediatric presentation, this survey aims to find out how you manage unsettled babies and how well equipped you feel to deal with this issue. Data collected in this survey will inform development of education materials for paediatricians and families alike.

What you told us:

The survey found that paediatricians:

  • Vary widely in their investigations and management and in turn, their practice differs from available guidelines.
  • Some general paediatricians (8%) offer treatments that are known to be ineffective (e.g. simethicone and antacids).
  • Most paediatricians routinely asked about maternal (88%) but not paternal (33%) mental health.
  • Generally, paediatricians received training around this issue before, rather than after, receiving their FRACP (61% vs 37%, respectively) and rate their training as satisfactory (67%). Despite this, only 39% feel very confident in managing this issue.

APRN Actions:

We have published a paper in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health that highlights how paediatricians manage persistent crying in their practice. For more information about this article, click this link to the JPCH website

IgE mediated Food Allergy

Margie Danchin, Katie Allen, Deborah Morawetz & Harriet Hiscock

Waiting lists for tertiary allergy services are increasing. This survey aims to find out how children with possible IgE-mediated food allergy present in your practice and how you diagnosis and manage them. Data will inform the development of an online training and clinical decision support package for paediatricians, to be developed in 2012.

What you told us:

  • 93 paediatricians reported managing food allergy.
  • Diagnostic and management practices varied widely.
  • 56 (61%) correctly identified that a diagnosis of IgE-mediated food allergy requires a history consistent with a clinical reaction and a positive specific serum IgE antibody or skin prick test result.
  • Reported waiting times for tertiary allergy services ranged from 5.4 (private) to 10.6 months (public).
  • Most (91%) paediatricians expressed interest in further training.

APRN Actions:

We have published a paper in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health that highlights how paediatricians manage food allergy and the need for additional training. For more information about this article, click this link to the JPCH website

This survey lead to the APRN Paed action on Food Allergy pilot study (2012-2013). This pilot involved assessing paediatrician knowledge before and after the delivery of an online training and clinical decision support package.For more information about the study, please click this link.


Kathleen Gray & Sarah Davies

E-learning for continuing professional development (CPD) may take many forms, each with different advantages and limitations. Your responses in this section will provide baseline data about the current uses of e-learning for CPD and help to guide decisions about its future development and design.