What do paediatricians think of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit?
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 46, Issue 7-8, pages 412–418, July/August 2010
How to Cite
He, S., Zurynski, Y. A. and Elliott, E. J. (2010), What do paediatricians think of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46: 412–418. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01755.x
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2010
- Accepted for publication 18 December 2009.
- child health clinicians;
- rare diseases;
Aim: To explore clinicians' perceptions of the value, usefulness and limitations of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) and obtain direct feedback regarding the surveillance mechanism and suggestions for improvement.
Methods: Anonymous postal survey of Australian paediatricians (n = 1260) in 2007.
Results: Of 1260 clinicians surveyed 818 (65%) responded, a similar proportion from all states/territories and specialties. Over half had participated in surveillance for >10 years. The majority (95%), believe APSU research is valuable, for generating knowledge (81%), identifying research needs (78%), facilitating collaborative research (75%), supporting education and advocacy (74%), guiding clinical practice (70%), informing future policy (70%) and evaluating current policy (68%). Of 458 respondents who had ever reported a case (90%) had no objection to providing de-identified clinical information; and about 75% said questionnaires were easy to complete; however, one third said clinical information requested was not always readily available. Most (680, 83%) respondents believed their contribution to the APSU was appropriately acknowledged and 20% said they had personally benefited from participation. The majority (90%) were willing to report immediately by email/fax/phone in an epidemiological emergency. Lack of time and resources was the most common limitation to participation identified by clinicians: some suggested on-line reporting would improve the ease and timeliness of reporting. Clinicians also suggested better use of the APSU website to disseminate results.
Conclusion: Clinicians acknowledged the APSU as valuable. Improving communication with clinicians, ensuring that information requested in questionnaires is relevant and available, and developing a secure web-based reporting system are future APSU priorities.