What is the timeliness and extent of health service use of Victorian (Australia) children in the year after entry to out-of-home care? Protocol for a retrospective cohort study using linked administrative data
AuthorMcLean, K; Hiscock, H; Scott, D; Goldfeld, S
Source TitleBMJ Paediatrics Open
PublisherBMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMcLean, K., Hiscock, H., Scott, D. & Goldfeld, S. (2019). What is the timeliness and extent of health service use of Victorian (Australia) children in the year after entry to out-of-home care? Protocol for a retrospective cohort study using linked administrative data. BMJ PAEDIATRICS OPEN, 3 (1), https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjpo-2018-000400.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361372
Introduction: Children entering out-of-home care have high rates of health needs across all domains of health. To identify these needs early and optimise long-term outcomes, routine health assessment on entry to care is recommended by child health experts and included in policy in many jurisdictions. If effective, this ought to lead to high rates of health service use as needs are addressed. Victoria (Australia) has no state-wide approach to deliver routine health assessments and no data to describe the timing and use of health service visits for children in out-of-home care. This retrospective cohort data linkage study aims to describe the extent and timeliness of health service use by Victorian children (aged 0-12 years) who entered out-of-home care for the first time between 1 April 2010 and 31 December 2015, in the first 12 months of care. Methods and analysis: The sample will be identified in the Victorian Child Protection database. Child and placement variables will be extracted. Linked health databases will provide additional data: six state databases that collate data about hospital admissions, emergency department presentations and attendances at dental, mental and community health services and public hospital outpatients. The federal Medicare Benefits Schedule claims dataset will provide information on visits to general practitioners, specialist physicians (including paediatricians), optometrists, audiologists and dentists. The number, type and timing of visits to different health services will be determined and benchmarked to national standards. Multivariable logistic regression will examine the effects of child and system variables on the odds of timely health visits, and proportional-hazards regression will explore the effects on time to first health visits. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical and data custodian approval has been obtained for this study. Dissemination will include presentation of findings to policy and service stakeholders in addition to scientific papers.
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