APRN Newsletter Issue 7, August 2012

Play your part

Research topics you want to explore
We are now collecting topics for the 2013 Multi-Topic Survey. The Multi-Topic survey is an amalgamation of several short surveys on important member-nominated topics into a single omnibus Survey. The 2011 Multi Topic Survey included 3 topics; managing unsettled babies, IgE mediated food allergy and E-Learning. If you are planning a research project about a certain condition, the Multi-Topic survey can help you gather data about which paediatricians see that condition and how they manage it. You can then use these data to inform further research. Submit your proposals now for the 2013 Multi-Topic Survey. Advanced trainee research projects welcome. We’re looking for topics on common conditions.

Funding & Infrastructure
Our strategic planning process is ongoing. At present, we’re developing online templates for our APRN members including:

  • decision support via our food allergy trial
  • a data collection form to capture information about paediatric consultations via our ADHD project
  • ‘how to translate research’ modules and
  • a library of common child and parent measures

Tell us the resources you’d like to see available to APRN members.

Member Profile

Dr Margie Danchin is a consultant paediatrician and postdoctoral research fellow who works part time in research and clinical practice at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Childrens Hospital and in private practice, Melbourne. Building on a background in vaccine trials and international health, her emerging research interests include improving child health outcomes through paediatric, secondary care-based research and research translation. She is becoming involved in the emerging area of e-health platforms and joined the Australian Paediatric Research Network steering committee in 2011. Together with A/Prof Harriet Hiscock, she is leading the APRN study to improve the management of food allergy through general paediatricians through an online training and clinical decision support package. Through the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN) steering committee, initiated by the Bio21 cluster, she is also actively engaged in identifying obstacles and seeking ways to improve and facilitate clinical and translational research for early career clinician researchers.

Comings and Goings
A big thank you to Donald Payne. Thank you for your contribution to the APRN as Western Australian Regional Representative since 2007.
Welcome to Gervase Chaney who will take over as Western Australia’s Regional Representative.

Since January 2012, APRN members have achieved …

Funding & Infrastructure

  • Submission and shortlisting for a prestigious $2.5 million NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence grant. Our grant incorporates food allergy, ADHD & obesity projects, and – if successful – will support research and training for Australian paediatricians over five years. We will share the outcome with you in our next newsletter.
  • Successful funding applications from:
    • the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute ($15,000) and The Telethon Institute ($56,000) for a pilot of the Australian Paediatric ADHD Study.
    • the Scobie and Claire Mackinnon Trust ($50,000), the Victorian Paediatric Network ($25,000) and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute ($19,000) for an online food allergy training and clinical decision support pilot. 
    • Southern Health ($5,000) for a survey of parenting needs after the diagnosis of autism.
  • Submission of funding applications to the RACP for the Fellows Contribution Fellowship Award to support A/Prof Harriet Hiscock’s leadership and activities fundamental to the APRN; our annual multi-topic surveys, five-yearly Delphi survey of member research priorities, and five-yearly national two-week snapshot audit of paediatricians’ caseloads.
  • Commencement of APRN Strategic Planning to plan the direction and ensure ongoing sustainability of the APRN.

Publications & Awards

  • How training affects Australian paediatricians’ management of obesity. Wake M, Campbell M, Turner M, Price A, Sabin M, Davis E, Baur L. Arch Dis Childhood. Accepted June 2012.
  • The paediatrician’s role in caring for children with learning difficulties. Roberts G, Price A, Oberklaid F. JPCH. Published online.
  • Current Australian paediatric practice in the assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A survey and practice audit. Efron, D. Royal College of Physicians Rue Wright Memorial Award for his presentation. May 2012.

Do you have a new publication to share? APRN would love to hear about your newly published research. Let us know so that we can share it with the whole APRN.


  • The APRN. Paediatric Research Networks Symposium. Wake, M. Pediatric American Society Conference in Boston. April 2012.
  • 1) Tackling common problems in your practice and 2) Current Australian paediatric practice in the assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A survey and practice audit. Efron, D. The RACP Congress. May 2012.

What conferences have you presented at recently? APRN would love to hear about your latest presentation. Let us know so that we can share it with the whole APRN.

Research Projects

  • Parent Needs After a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) (led by Dr Sabine Hennel, Monash Medical Centre, Vic): A great start, with paediatricians identifying >900 patients diagnosed with an ASD since 1 Jan 2010 from their records. We need as many APRN members to participate as possible to be nationally representative. It’s not too late to take part! – Please email us at autism.survey@rch.org.au or phone 03 9936 6588.
  • Australian Paediatric ADHD Study (APAS) (led by Dr Daryl Efron, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Vic. & Dr Brad Jongeling, Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service, WA): The VIC pilot is awaiting ethics approval and hopes to commence in August. The WA pilot is preparing their ethics submission.
  • Paed Action on Food Allergy (led by Harriet Hiscock and Margie Danchin, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute) is awaiting ethics review. 10 paediatricians will pilot an onlin training project for food allergy.
  • Growth and pubertal status of adolescent girls with ADHD (led by Dr Sally Poulton, Nepean Health, NSW): Ethics approval has been received and recruitment commenced. Please contact Sally if you would like to participate.

Member services

  • APRN update meeting for paediatricians participating in APRN research held at the 2012 RACP annual scientific meeting in Brisbane.
  • Launched the ‘Media and Awards’ web page.
  • Continue to work with the RACP to tailor our “How to” conduct research module. These modules are available at on the APRN website and will also be on the RACP website soon.

The 2011 Multi-Topic Survey
Responses to the 2011 Multi-Topic Survey closed on 30 April. Data analysis has commenced and teams are commencing paper writing. Topics, including two advanced trainee research projects, are management of food allergy, unsettled babies and e-learning.


The APRN continues to grow.

More than 400 paediatricians around the country have now joined.

Thanks to all members who have contributed to its research and activities to date.

For more information on the APRN, please visit us at www.aprn.org.au