APRN Newsletter Issue 16, October 2017

Thank you for your support of the Australian Paediatric Research Network (APRN). Over the last year, the APRN has developed and sent all active members an invitation to complete the Multi-Topic Survey 2017. We have also developed a key resource for our members - the Measures Library (see below).

Multi-Topic Survey 2017

The Multi-Topic Survey includes 3 topics led by Australian paediatricians: Antibiotic use, Chronic Tics and Tourette syndrome, and Constipation. We understand you may not routinely see children with these conditions or treat children with antibiotics - you can indicate this on the survey. We are still interested in your responses to the other topics.

We are hoping 200-250 paediatricians will participate. So far, 110 paediatricians have completed the survey. Every response counts and we’d love to hear from you!

This online survey is easy to complete and takes about 15-20 minutes. You can complete the survey on your phone (landscape for optimal viewing), computer or tablet.

If you would like to be involved but have not received an email previously about this, please contact us at aprn.paeds@rch.org.au

Thank you to all our members who have completed the survey – we really appreciate your time!


Research our members are involved in

Thanks to your support and participation as an APRN member, we have been able to successfully launch two clinical trials based in 22 private and community paediatric practices in Victoria. These two trials were launched over the past two years, and both are near completion (see below). We will be publishing results from these trials very soon - a testimony to what we can do as a group! Without your support, they would not have happened, so thank you! If you have ideas of how you could run research or trials from your practice, please let us know, we would love to hear from you.

Allergy in the Community Trial

As highlighted in previous APRN studies such as the Multi-Topic Survey 2011 and pilot study Paed action on food allergy, waiting lists for tertiary allergy services are increasing. The Allergy in Community Trial (ACT) aims to determine whether a new model of allergy care can be safely and effectively implemented in the wider community, to relieve overwhelmed tertiary paediatric allergy services. This model involves upskilling community paediatricians in the diagnosis and care of simple food allergies. ACT involves 380 families (188 control and 192 intervention) and all intervention families are within 12-months post enrolment by one of our 26 recruited community paediatricians. Follow up with families will continue until mid-2018. For more information please contact The ACT team via email allergy.aprn@mcri.edu.au or phone (03) 9936 6158.

Let’s Nudge

Childhood obesity affects 8% of children. Despite decades of research, treatment options remain limited, leaving most affected children without care. In our Delphi processes in 2008 and 2014-2015, the APRN community rated the management of obesity (and its comorbidities) as their top research priority. The Let’s Nudge pilot RCT was designed to address these gaps, by providing paediatricians training in obesity assessment and trialling a novel obesity intervention based on ‘nudge’ theory to manage childhood obesity. We recruited obese children (n=15) through a Paediatrician clinic in Melbourne’s south-east. Training in obesity assessment was provided to 7 paediatricians who then saw intervention children for a single visit to apply their new skills. This was paired with the in-home ‘nudge’ intervention, which draws on the behavioural economic concept of ‘nudge’ to subtly alter the home-environment to support healthier food and activity choices on a daily basis (e.g. using smaller plates at mealtimes, placing unhealthy snacks out of sight).

Preliminary results found that paediatricians rated the obesity training highly. All paediatricians said they would recommend the training to other paediatricians. After completing training, paediatricians self-reported increased comfort and competence in broaching, assessing and managing obesity in children. Further findings from this pilot will be available in late 2017. For more information please contact The Let’s Nudge team via email lets.nudge@mcri.edu.au or phone (03) 9936 6580.

Measures Library

Wondering about the best measure for your new study? Have you got advanced trainees doing a new project? The APRN Measures Library could help! With over 100 commonly used child and parent health measures, you can find information on each measure's validity, reliability, time taken, licensing, and in some cases, scoring syntax for Stata. This resource is free and can be found here: http://apps.mcri.edu.au/measureslib

Please let us know if you have any suggestions or feedback on the measure library.

Meet one of our new Steering Committee Members!

Associate Professor Penelope Bryant

Penelope Bryant is a Paediatric Infectious Diseases physician and General Paediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. She is a Clinician-Scientist Fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on antibiotic use and misuse in children and the effects on antimicrobial resistance and the human microbiome. She is Medical Lead of Hospital-in-the-Home and is passionate about getting children out of hospital. She is current Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Infectious Diseases group.

Since our last newsletter, we have had 4 articles accepted/published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Please visit our publication page for all our publications.

  • Efron D, Cranswick NE, Danchin M, Gulenc A, Hearps S & Hiscock H. (2017). Medication Prescribed by Paediatricians: Psychotropics predominate. Early view. doi:10.1111/jpc.13615
  • Hughes K, Gulenc A, Danchin M, Efron D, Wake M, Freed G, Hiscock H. (2017). What research questions matter to Australian paediatricians? National Delphi Study. 53(4): 427–428.
  • Hiscock H, Danchin MH, Efron D, Gulenc A, Hearps S, Freed GL, Perera P, Wake M. (2017). Trends in paediatric practice in Australia: 2008 and 2013 national audits from the Australian Paediatric Research Network. 53(1): 55–61.

Thank you again for your continued support of the Australian Paediatric Research Network

The APRN team

Harriet Hiscock, Daryl Efron, Margie Danchin, Gehan Roberts, Penelope Bryant, Valerie Sung, Christos Symeonides and Alisha Gulenc


P: (03) 9345 6530

E: aprn.paeds@rch.org.au

W: www.aprn.org.au