APRN Newsletter Issue 9, September 2013

It has been 9 months since our last newsletter, much has happened, and we would like to update you!

2013 Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Fellows Award

The APRN has been awarded the prestigious $150,000 RACP Fellows Award. This funding has supported the 2013 Multi-Topic Survey and will support out second national audit - the Children Attending Paediatricians Study - in November this year. In 2014, we will ask members again about their research priorities and ideas. In the meantime, we are working on a library of child and parent measures, which will be available to you in online and pen and paper formats for your research projects.

Translation Toolkit is here!

The APRN team is excited to announce our new resource the ‘Translation Toolkit’. The Translation Toolkit was developed to help facilitate translation planning from the start of a research project through to completion. This toolkit provides a framework for researchers to identify and engage stakeholders and to establish advisory boards and steering committees, who can provide input and guidance on research projects. You can use the toolkit for advance trainee and higher degree projects.

The Translation Toolkit is available to you online at http://www.aprn.org.au/resources/

Multi-Topic Survey 2013

We have finished collecting responses for the Multi-Topic Survey 2013 on topics of autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, oral health and E-health. Over 170 paediatricians complete the survey – thank you!  Researchers for each topic are now analysing their results.

Here is a quick update on E-Health. In the 2010 Multi-Topic Survey, we asked members about their e-health capacities and this year we re-surveyed members to see if anything had changed.

Overall, paediatricians’ use of e-health has increased. Use of smart phones has jumped from 39% to 70% and 76% of paediatricians now have a computer with acceptable internet speed in their rooms. Whilst use of electronic records to document patient data has almost doubled from 26% to 49%, around half of paediatricians are hand writing their case notes.

Stay tuned for more results!

Play your part

Children Attending Paediatrician Study (CAPS)
CAPS provides a snapshot of conditions seen by Australian paediatricians over a two week period. We will be asking interested members to record information on their outpatient consultations for 2 weeks during October-November 2013. This is the second time the APRN has conducted CAPS, the first being in 2008. For results of the 2008 study, please visit our publications page. In 2008, ADHD was the most common diagnosis managed by paediatricians...will autism now top the list?

Stay tuned for your invitation to participate in CAPS in the coming month! Taking part will contribute to MyCPD audit points.

Member Profile

Sabine Hennel
Sabine is a developmental paediatrician working for Monash Children’s at Monash Medical Centre, Vic. She works in the paediatric Rehabilitation Service and Developmental Medicine Units and is clinical director of the Paediatric Spina Bifida Service.

Together with Cathy Coates, she has led the APRN study "Parent information needs following an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis" in which 404 families and 53 paediatricians took part. Her clinical interests include co-ordinating care of children with complex physical and cognitive disabilities and supporting their families. She also has an interest in developmental and behavioural paediatrics including Autism spectrum disorders. A further interest includes Chronic Fatigue syndrome (CFS) and she is involved in the development of co-ordinated services for young people with CFS through the Paediatric Rehabilitation Service. Her interests outside medicine include yoga, running, cooking and spending time with her family including 3 beautiful, rambunctious kids of ages 6 and 9 and 11, and her veggie patch.

Cathy Coates

Dr. Cathy Coates is a General Paediatrician based at Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon, Vic, where she has been a consultant paediatrician for 3 years.  She is actively engaged in all aspects of inpatient and outpatient care, as well as having taken on the role of Clinical Dean for Year 4C Monash University medical students. She maintains a keen interest in paediatric emergency medicine and has a regular commitment working as a consultant in the Paediatric Emergency Department at Monash Medical Centre.  

Together with Dr. Sabine Hennel, she recently presented a poster of the findings of the autism study at the International Congress of Paediatrics held in Melbourne. Cathy loves all aspects of food and delights in exploring farmer's markets.  She also enjoys running and is currently in the process of planning her next mountaineering adventure.  

Advisory Group

The inaugural Advisory Group was held on the 27th of August, 2013 at the International Congress of Paediatrics conference in Melbourne. The meeting was chaired by Professor Gary Freed and discussed future research directions, strategic links and funding sources.

Click HERE to learn more about the advisory group members.


We have had 4 publications since our last newsletter and another 1 accepted for publication. For more of our publications, please visit http://www.aprn.org.au/projects/our-publications

  • Campbell M, Bryson H, Price AMH, Wake M. Childhood obesity in secondary care: National prospective audit of Australian pediatric practice. Academic Pediatrics, 2013:13(2); 168-176.
  • Heussler H, Chan P, Price A, Waters K, Davey M, Hiscock H. Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Management of Sleep Disturbance in Children: An Australian Paediatric Research Network Survey. Sleep Medicine, 2013:14(2); 189-194.
  • Wake M, Campbell M, Turner M, Price A, Sabin M, Davis E, Baur L. How training affects Australian paediatricians’ management of obesity. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2013:98(1);3-8.
  • Efron D, Davies S, Sciberras E. Current Australian Pediatric Practice in the Assessment and Treatment of ADHD. Academic Pediatrics, 2013: 13 (4); 328-334.
  • Rimer R and Hiscock H. A National Survey of Australian Paediatricians’ Approach to Infant Crying. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Accepted for publication 8th of August 2013.


  • Professor Melissa Wake presented at the George Abbott Symposium in New Zealand which was held on the 16th and 17th of August 2013 “The Ecology of Health Care”
  • The APRN endorsed project Family Needs around the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Diagnosis presented two abstracts at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference (APAC) in Adelaide on the 8th-10th of August 2013.“Information needs of families after a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder: a cross sectional survey of parents by the Australian Paediatric Research Network” and “Paediatrician approaches to diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder: a survey of Paediatricians by the Australian Paediatric Research Network”


The APRN continues to grow.

More than 430 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