APRN Newsletter Issue 11, August 2014

It has been 3 months since our last newsletter, we would like to update you!

Children Attending Paediatrician Study (CAPS) 2013

The CAPS study ran over a two-week period from November to December in 2013, with booklets being sent to 417 paediatricians.  We have received 180 (43%) booklets with information on 7591 consultations! We have now cleaned and have started analysing the data.

 We recently sent individual feedback to all participating members about their practice including patient characteristics e.g. average age of patients, and the top 5 diagnoses compared to the overall CAPS data. If you participated in CAPS and did not receive your individual feedback, please contact us on our details below.

The top 6 conditions seen by paediatricians were:

  1. ADHD (10.7%)
  2. ASD (7.0%)
  3. Learning difficulties/disability (4.2%)
  4. Anxiety (3.5%)
  5. Sleep disturbance (3.2%)
  6. Behaviour (3.2%)

Want to know the next top 4 conditions seen by our members? Click here to view!

In the coming months we plan on submitting the CAPS data for publication in academic journals. We have started manuscripts on the following areas:

  • CAPS comparison from the 2008 and 2013 audits
  • Anxiety and its management
  • Psychotropic medications prescribed compared to other medications

Thank you once again to all our APRN members who participated, your support is greatly appreciated.

National Delphi Study 2014 - What research questions matter most to our members in 2014? 

The APRN team is excited to announce the National Delphi Study 2014! This is the second Delphi by the APRN, our first being in 2007 when the APRN was established.

 In 2007, we used a two-stage Delphi process, through which you told us your top research questions (Stage 1) and then helped to prioritise these (Stage 2). The top three research priorities concerned obesity management (numbers 1 and 2) and learning outcomes for children with ADHD (number 3). This informed later research projects such as the multi-topic survey.

Why is the Delphi (2014) important?

We aim to conduct research that is of interest to our members. We would like to see what research questions matter now to paediatricians compared to the initial Delphi in 2007. Information from the Delphi (2014) will also inform future APRN projects.

Why take part?

Participating in the Delphi only takes a few minutes and gives you a voice in shaping the research into common paediatric conditions.  

It is not too late to tell us your top research questions!

Please click this link to complete the Delphi (Stage 1):  https://redcap.mcri.edu.au/surveys/?s=YqyI8yjz6I

Multi-Topic Survey 2014 - postponed

With the Delphi survey still going and CAPS data to analyse, we are postponing the Multi-Topic survey until early 2015. If you have an idea for a survey topic, please contact us on our details below.


Researcher Profile

Dr Sarah Knight

Dr Sarah Knight is a post-doctoral research fellow and clinical neuropsychologist at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service. She has published several journal manuscripts addressing the impact of a range of chronic health conditions on child and adolescent development. She currently coordinates a clinical research program for paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome. In collaboration with neuroimaging, neuropsychological, sleep, educational and medical specialists around Australia, this growing multisite program has a particular emphasis on actively facilitating the translation of research into clinical practice.

Sarah and her team recently published a paper in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health based on the 2013 APRN Multi-Topic Survey. 39% of paediatricians reported that they diagnose and manage CFS/ME. While there was a wide variation in diagnostic practices and in the use of behavioural and pharmacological management strategies, most paediatricians commonly engaged a school teacher, physiotherapist and/or psychologist as part of their management. According to the team, the variation in diagnosis and treatment likely reflects a lack of paediatric-specific guidelines, together with limited evidence to guide best practice in this area. Sarah is now looking at how research and education could improve treatment outcomes.


We have published the below paper since our last newsletter and are currently drafting manuscripts for several APRN studies. Please visit our publication page for all our publications.

Knight S, Harvey A, Towns S, Payne D, Lubitz L, Rowe K, Reveley C, Hennel S, Hiscock H, Scheinberg A. How is Paediatric Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Diagnosed and Managed by Paediatricians? An Australian Paediatric Research Network Study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Accepted 27th May 2014


Dr Sabine Hennel presented findings from the APRN endorsed project Family Needs around the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Diagnosis presented at the Victorian Autism Conference in Melbourne on Friday 8th of August “Information needs of families after a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Paediatricians approaches to diagnosis and disclosure: a cross – sectional survey of parents and their paediatricians by the Australian Paediatric Research Network.”

Have any queries about any of the information above?

P: (03) 9345 6530

E: aprn.paeds@rch.org.au

W: www.aprn.org.au


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

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