How is care provided for patients with paediatric trauma and their families in Australia? A mixed-method study

Kate Curtis, Kim FOSTER, Rebecca Mitchell, Connie Van

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    Abstract

    Aim: This study describes clinical staff opinions on the availability and suitability of resources to provide trauma care to children and their families and any perceived strengths, gaps and potential interventions to strengthen care. Methods: A mixed-method study was conducted in five Australian paediatric trauma centres. The trauma coordinator at each site participated in a structured interview to determine models of care and trauma activity at their site. This informed the development of an electronic survey, which sought staff opinion on child and family access to services and perceived gaps in care. Results: Five trauma coordinators were interviewed, and 214 clinicians (medical, nursing, allied health) from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland completed the survey. Each site had a trauma director and coordinator, and there was variance in resource availability. Almost all survey participants (92.5%) considered their hospital met the physical needs of injured children, 68.2% thought that the psychosocial needs of children were met and 82.1% thought that the needs of families were met. The least accessible services reported were clinical psychology/family counselling, mental health and behaviour management services. No routine follow-up support services post-discharge for the child or their families were identified. Conclusion: Staff providing care for injured children report that physical needs are better met than psychosocial needs. There is variability in resource levels across paediatric trauma centres. A coordinated model of care that provides psychosocial care both during hospitalisation and post-discharge could reduce this gap in care for injured children and their families.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)832-836
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
    Volume52
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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