Paediatrics (RCH) - Research Publications

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    Sustainability of evidence-based practices in the management of infants with bronchiolitis in hospital settings - a PREDICT study protocol.
    Ramsden, V ; Babl, FE ; Dalziel, SR ; Middleton, S ; Oakley, E ; Haskell, L ; Lithgow, A ; Orsini, F ; Schembri, R ; Wallace, A ; Wilson, CL ; McInnes, E ; Wilson, PH ; Tavender, E (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-08-29)
    BACKGROUND: Understanding how and why de-implementation of low-value practices is sustained remains unclear. The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International CollaboraTive (PREDICT) Bronchiolitis Knowledge Translation (KT) Study was a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in 26 Australian and New Zealand hospitals (May-November 2017). Results showed targeted, theory-informed interventions (clinical leads, stakeholder meetings, train-the-trainer workshop, targeted educational package, audit/feedback) were effective at reducing use of five low-value practices for bronchiolitis (salbutamol, glucocorticoids, antibiotics, adrenaline and chest x-ray) by 14.1% in acute care settings. The primary aim of this study is to determine the sustainability (continued receipt of benefits) of these outcomes at intervention hospitals two-years after the removal of study supports. Secondary aims are to determine sustainability at one-year after removal of study support at intervention hospitals; improvements one-and-two years at control hospitals; and explore factors that influence sustainability at intervention hospitals and contribute to improvements at control hospitals. METHODS: A mixed-methods study design. The quantitative component is a retrospective medical record audit of bronchiolitis management within 24 hours of emergency department (ED) presentations at 26 Australian (n = 20) and New Zealand (n = 6) hospitals, which participated in the PREDICT Bronchiolitis KT Study. Data for a total of 1800 infants from intervention and control sites (up to 150 per site) will be collected to determine if improvements (i.e., no use of all five low-value practices) were sustained two- years (2019) post-trial (primary outcome; composite score); and a further 1800 infants from intervention and control sites will be collected to determine sustained improvements one- year (2018) post-trial (secondary outcome). An a priori definition of sustainability will be used. The qualitative component will consist of semi-structured interviews with three to five key emergency department and paediatric inpatient medical and nursing staff per site (total n = 78-130). Factors that may have contributed to sustaining outcomes and/or interventions will be explored and mapped to an established sustainability framework. DISCUSSION: This study will improve our understanding of the sustainability of evidence-based bronchiolitis management in infants. Results will also advance implementation science research by informing future de-implementation strategies to reduce low-value practices and sustain practice change in paediatric acute care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12621001287820.
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    Treatment patterns and frequency of key outcomes in acute severe asthma in children: a Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) multicentre cohort study
    Craig, S ; Powell, CVE ; Nixon, GM ; Oakley, E ; Hort, J ; Armstrong, DS ; Ranganathan, S ; Kochar, A ; Wilson, C ; George, S ; Phillips, N ; Furyk, J ; Lawton, B ; Borland, ML ; O'Brien, S ; Neutze, J ; Lithgow, A ; Mitchell, C ; Watkins, N ; Brannigan, D ; Wood, J ; Gray, C ; Hearps, S ; Ramage, E ; Williams, A ; Lew, J ; Jones, L ; Graudins, A ; Dalziel, S ; Babl, FE (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-03-01)
    RATIONALE: Severe acute paediatric asthma may require treatment escalation beyond systemic corticosteroids, inhaled bronchodilators and low-flow oxygen. Current large asthma datasets report parenteral therapy only. OBJECTIVES: To identify the use and type of escalation of treatment in children presenting to hospital with acute severe asthma. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of children with an emergency department diagnosis of asthma or wheeze at 18 Australian and New Zealand hospitals. The main outcomes were use and type of escalation treatment (defined as any of intensive care unit admission, nebulised magnesium, respiratory support or parenteral bronchodilator treatment) and hospital length of stay (LOS). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 14 029 children (median age 3 (IQR 1-3) years; 62.9% male), 1020 (7.3%, 95% CI 6.9% to 7.7%) had treatment escalation. Children with treatment escalation had a longer LOS (44.2 hours, IQR 27.3-63.2 hours) than children without escalation 6.7 hours, IQR 3.5-16.3 hours; p<0.001). The most common treatment escalations were respiratory support alone (400; 2.9%, 95% CI 2.6% to 3.1%), parenteral bronchodilator treatment alone (380; 2.7%, 95% CI 2.5% to 3.0%) and both respiratory support and parenteral bronchodilator treatment (209; 1.5%, 95% CI 1.3% to 1.7%). Respiratory support was predominantly nasal high-flow therapy (99.0%). The most common intravenous medication regimens were: magnesium alone (50.4%), magnesium and aminophylline (24.6%) and magnesium and salbutamol (10.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, 7.3% children with acute severe asthma received some form of escalated treatment, with 4.2% receiving parenteral bronchodilators and 4.3% respiratory support. There is wide variation treatment escalation.
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    Review article: Developing the Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children: An adoption/adaption approach
    Tavender, E ; Ballard, DW ; Wilson, A ; Borland, ML ; Oakley, E ; Cotterell, E ; Wilson, CL ; Ring, J ; Dalziel, SR ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) released the Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children in 2021. We describe innovative and practical methods used to develop this guideline. Informed by GRADE-ADOLOPMENT and ADAPTE frameworks, we adopted or adapted recommendations from multiple high-quality guidelines or developed de novo recommendations. A Guideline Steering Committee and a multidisciplinary Guideline Working Group of 25 key stakeholder representatives formulated the guideline scope and developed 33 clinical questions. We identified four relevant high-quality source guidelines; their recommendations were mapped to clinical questions. The choice of guideline recommendation, if more than one guideline addressed a question, was based on its appropriateness, currency of the literature, access to evidence, and relevance. Updated literature searches identified 440 new studies and key new evidence identified. The decision to develop adopted, adapted or de novo recommendations was based on the supporting evidence-base and its transferability to the local setting. The guideline underwent a 12-week consultation period. The final guideline consisted of 35 evidence-informed and 17 consensus-based recommendations and 19 practice points. An algorithm to inform imaging and observation decision-making was also developed. The resulting process was an efficient and rigorous way to develop a guideline based on existing high-quality guidelines from different settings.
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    Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children
    Babl, FE ; Tavender, E ; Ballard, DW ; Borland, ML ; Oakley, E ; Cotterell, E ; Halkidis, L ; Goergen, S ; Davis, GA ; Perry, D ; Anderson, V ; Barlow, KM ; Barnett, P ; Bennetts, S ; Bhamjee, R ; Cole, J ; Craven, J ; Haskell, L ; Lawton, B ; Lithgow, A ; Mullen, G ; O'Brien, S ; Paproth, M ; Wilson, CL ; Ring, J ; Wilson, A ; Leo, GSY ; Dalziel, SR (WILEY, 2021-02-02)
    OBJECTIVE: Children frequently present with head injuries to acute care settings. Although international paediatric clinical practice guidelines for head injuries exist, they do not address all considerations related to triage, imaging, observation versus admission, transfer, discharge and follow-up of mild to moderate head injuries relevant to the Australian and New Zealand context. The Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) set out to develop an evidence-based, locally applicable, practical clinical guideline for the care of children with mild to moderate head injuries presenting to acute care settings. METHODS: A multidisciplinary Guideline Working Group (GWG) developed 33 questions in three key areas - triage, imaging and discharge of children with mild to moderate head injuries presenting to acute care settings. We identified existing high-quality guidelines and from these guidelines recommendations were mapped to clinical questions. Updated literature searches were undertaken, and key new evidence identified. Recommendations were created through either adoption, adaptation or development of de novo recommendations. The guideline was revised after a period of public consultation. RESULTS: The GWG developed 71 recommendations (evidence-informed = 35, consensus-based = 17, practice points = 19), relevant to the Australian and New Zealand setting. The guideline is presented as three documents: (i) a detailed Full Guideline summarising the evidence underlying each recommendation; (ii) a Guideline Summary; and (iii) a clinical Algorithm: Imaging and Observation Decision-making for Children with Head Injuries. CONCLUSIONS: The PREDICT Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children provides high-level evidence and practical guidance for front line clinicians.
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    Process evaluation of a cluster randomised controlled trial to improve bronchiolitis management - a PREDICT mixed-methods study
    Haskell, L ; Tavender, EJ ; O'Brien, S ; Wilson, CL ; Babl, FE ; Borland, ML ; Schembri, R ; Orsini, F ; Cotterell, E ; Sheridan, N ; Oakley, E ; Dalziel, SR (BMC, 2021-11-29)
    BACKGROUND: Bronchiolitis is the most common reason for hospitalisation in infants. All international bronchiolitis guidelines recommend supportive care, yet considerable variation in practice continues with infants receiving non-evidence based therapies. We developed six targeted, theory-informed interventions; clinical leads, stakeholder meeting, train-the-trainer, education delivery, other educational materials, and audit and feedback. A cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) found the interventions to be effective in reducing use of five non-evidence based therapies in infants with bronchiolitis. This process evaluation paper aims to determine whether the interventions were implemented as planned (fidelity), explore end-users' perceptions of the interventions and evaluate cRCT outcome data with intervention fidelity data. METHODS: A pre-specified mixed-methods process evaluation was conducted alongside the cRCT, guided by frameworks for process evaluation of cRCTs and complex interventions. Quantitative data on the fidelity, dose and reach of interventions were collected from the 13 intervention hospitals during the study and analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data identifying perception and acceptability of interventions were collected from 42 intervention hospital clinical leads on study completion and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The cRCT found targeted, theory-informed interventions improved bronchiolitis management by 14.1%. The process evaluation data found variability in how the intervention was delivered at the cluster and individual level. Total fidelity scores ranged from 55 to 98% across intervention hospitals (mean = 78%; SD = 13%). Fidelity scores were highest for use of clinical leads (mean = 98%; SD = 7%), and lowest for use of other educational materials (mean = 65%; SD = 19%) and audit and feedback (mean = 65%; SD = 20%). Clinical leads reflected positively about the interventions, with time constraints being the greatest barrier to their use. CONCLUSION: Our targeted, theory-informed interventions were delivered with moderate fidelity, and were well received by clinical leads. Despite clinical leads experiencing challenges of time constraints, the level of fidelity had a positive effect on successfully de-implementing non-evidence-based care in infants with bronchiolitis. These findings will inform widespread rollout of our bronchiolitis interventions, and guide future practice change in acute care settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12616001567415 .
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    Influence of weather on incidence of bronchiolitis in Australia and New Zealand
    Hoeppner, T ; Borland, M ; Babl, FE ; Neutze, J ; Phillips, N ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, SR ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Williams, A ; Zhang, G ; Oakley, E (WILEY, 2017-10-01)
    AIM: We aimed to examine the impact of weather on hospital admissions with bronchiolitis in Australia and New Zealand. METHODS: We collected data for inpatient admissions of infants aged 2-12 months to seven hospitals in four cities in Australia and New Zealand from 2009 until 2011. Correlation of hospital admissions with minimum daily temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and rainfall was examined using linear, Poisson and negative binomial regression analyses as well as general estimated equation models. To account for possible lag between exposure to weather and admission to hospital, analyses were conducted for time lags of 0-4 weeks. RESULTS: During the study period, 3876 patients were admitted to the study hospitals. Hospital admissions showed strong seasonality with peaks in wintertime, onset in autumn and offset in spring. The onset of peak incidence was preceded by a drop in temperature. Minimum temperature was inversely correlated with hospital admissions, whereas wind speed was directly correlated. These correlations were sustained for time lags of up to 4 weeks. Standardised correlation coefficients ranged from -0.14 to -0.54 for minimum temperature and from 0.18 to 0.39 for wind speed. Relative humidity and rainfall showed no correlation with hospital admissions in our study. CONCLUSION: A decrease in temperature and increasing wind speed are associated with increasing incidence of bronchiolitis hospital admissions in Australia and New Zealand.
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    Intensive care unit admissions and ventilation support in infants with bronchiolitis
    Oakley, E ; Chong, V ; Borland, M ; Neutze, J ; Phillips, N ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, S ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Fry, A ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-08-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To describe the rate of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, type of ventilation support provided and risk factors for ICU admission in infants with bronchiolitis. DESIGN: Retrospective review of hospital records and Australia and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care (ANZPIC) registry data for infants 2-12 months old admitted with bronchiolitis. SETTING: Seven Australian and New Zealand hospitals. These infants were prospectively identified through the comparative rehydration in bronchiolitis (CRIB) study between 2009 and 2011. RESULTS: Of 3884 infants identified, 3589 charts were available for analysis. Of 204 (5.7%) infants with bronchiolitis admitted to ICU, 162 (79.4%) received ventilation support. Of those 133 (82.1%) received non-invasive ventilation (high flow nasal cannula [HFNC] or continuous positive airway pressure [CPAP]) 7 (4.3%) received invasive ventilation alone and 21 (13.6%) received a combination of ventilation modes. Infants with comorbidities such as chronic lung disease (OR 1.6 [95% CI 1.0-2.6]), congenital heart disease (OR 2.3 [1.5-3.5]), neurological disease (OR 2.2 [1.2-4.1]) or prematurity (OR 1.5 [1.0-2.1]), and infants 2-6 months of age (OR 1.5 [1.1-2.0]) were more likely to be admitted to ICU. Respiratory syncitial virus positivity did not increase the likelihood of being admitted to ICU (OR 1.1 [95% CI 0.8-1.4]). HFNC use changed from 13/53 (24.5% [95% CI 13.7-38.3]) patient episodes in 2009 to 39/91 (42.9% [95% CI 32.5-53.7]) patient episodes in 2011. CONCLUSION: Admission to ICU is an uncommon occurrence in infants admitted with bronchiolitis, but more common in infants with comorbidities and prematurity. The majority are managed with non-invasive ventilation, with increasing use of HFNC.
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    Computed tomography for head injuries in children: Change in Australian usage rates over time
    Oakley, E ; May, R ; Hoeppner, T ; Sinn, K ; Furyk, J ; Craig, S ; Rosengarten, P ; Kochar, A ; Krieser, D ; Dalton, S ; Dalziel, S ; Neutze, J ; Cain, T ; Jachno, K ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-04-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Paediatric head injury is a common presentation to the ED. North American studies demonstrate increasing use of computed tomography (CT) brain scan (CTB) to investigate head injury. No such data exists for Australian EDs. The aim of this study was to describe CTB use in head injury over time in eight Australian EDs. METHODS: Retrospective ED electronic database and medical imaging database audit was undertaken for the years 2001-2010 by International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 9 or 10 code for head injury in children <16 years. EDs and medical imaging departments of eight hospitals in Australia (five tertiary referral and three mixed departments). Data for ED presentations with head injury, and all CTB performed by medical imaging were merged to obtain a data set of CTB performed within 24 h for head injury-related attendances to the ED. Descriptive and comparative analysis of CTB rates was performed. RESULTS: The rate of CTB over the decade was 10.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.9-10.5). The annual rate varied from 9.5% (95% CI 8.2-10.9) to 12.5% (95% CI 11.2-13.9). CTB use did not increase over time. Median year of age at time of CT scan was 4 years, with an interquartile range of 1.5-9.4 years. Overall there was a 9.2% increase in the CTB scan rate for every additional year of age at presentation (95% CI 6.6-12.1; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: CTB use in head injuries did not increase during the study period, and rates of CTB were less than reported for North America.
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    Economic evaluation of nasogastric versus intravenous hydration in infants with bronchiolitis
    Oakley, E ; Carter, R ; Murphy, B ; Borland, M ; Neutze, J ; Acworth, J ; Krieser, D ; Dalziel, S ; Davidson, A ; Donath, S ; Jachno, K ; South, M ; Babl, FE (WILEY, 2017-06-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infants and the leading cause of hospitalisation. We aimed to assess whether intravenous hydration (IVH) was more cost-effective than nasogastric hydration (NGH) as a planned secondary economic analysis of a randomised trial involving 759 infants (aged 2-12 months) admitted to hospital with a clinical diagnosis of bronchiolitis and requiring non-oral hydration. No Australian cost data exist to aid clinicians in decision-making around interventions in bronchiolitis. METHODS: Cost data collections included hospital and intervention-specific costs. The economic analysis was reduced to a cost-minimisation study, focusing on intervention-specific costs of IVH versus NGH, as length of stay was equal between groups. All analyses are reported as intention to treat. RESULTS: Intervention costs were greater for IVH than NGH ($113 vs $74; cost difference of $39 per child). The intervention-specific cost advantage to NGH was robust to inter-site variation in unit prices and treatment activity. CONCLUSION: Intervention-specific costs account for <10% of total costs of bronchiolitis admissions, with NGH having a small cost saving across all sites.
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    Development of targeted, theory-informed interventions to improve bronchiolitis management
    Haskell, L ; Tavender, EJ ; Wilson, CL ; O'Brien, S ; Babl, FE ; Borland, ML ; Cotterell, E ; Sheridan, N ; Oakley, E ; Dalziel, SR (BMC, 2021-08-03)
    BACKGROUND: Despite international guidelines providing evidence-based recommendations on appropriate management of infants with bronchiolitis, wide variation in practice occurs. This results in infants receiving care of no benefit, with associated cost and is potentially harmful. Theoretical frameworks are increasingly used to develop interventions, utilising behaviour change techniques specifically chosen to target factors contributing to practice variation, with de-implementation often viewed as harder than implementing. This paper describes the stepped process using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to develop targeted, theory-informed interventions which subsequently successfully improved management of infants with bronchiolitis by de-implementing ineffective therapies. Explicit description of the process and rationale used in developing de-implementation interventions is critical to dissemination of these practices into real world clinical practice. METHODS: A stepped approach was used: (1) Identify evidence-based recommendations and practice variation as targets for change, (2) Identify factors influencing practice change (barriers and enablers) to be addressed, and (3) Identification and development of interventions (behaviour change techniques and methods of delivery) addressing influencing factors, considering evidence of effectiveness, feasibility, local relevance and acceptability. The mode of delivery for the intervention components was informed by evidence from implementation science systematic reviews, and setting specific feasibility and practicality. RESULTS: Five robust evidence-based management recommendations, targeting the main variation in bronchiolitis management were identified: namely, no use of chest x-ray, salbutamol, glucocorticoids, antibiotics, and adrenaline. Interventions developed to target recommendations addressed seven TDF domains (identified following qualitative clinician interviews (n = 20)) with 23 behaviour change techniques chosen to address these domains. Final interventions included: (1) Local stakeholder meetings, (2) Identification of medical and nursing clinical leads, (3) Train-the-trainer workshop for all clinical leads, (4) Local educational materials for delivery by clinical leads, (5) Provision of tools and materials targeting influencing factors, and prompting recommended behaviours, and (6) Audit and feedback. CONCLUSION: A stepped approach based on theory, evidence and issues of feasibility, local relevance and acceptability, was successfully used to develop interventions to improve management of infants with bronchiolitis. The rationale and content of interventions has been explicitly described allowing others to de-implement unnecessary bronchiolitis management, thereby improving care.