Background: There is a growing need for cost-efficient and patient-centered approaches to support families in hospital-and community-based neurodevelopmental services. For such purposes, electronic data collection (EDC) may hold advantages over paper-based data collection. Such EDC approaches enable automated data collection for scoring and interpretation, saving time for clinicians and services and promoting more efficient service delivery.
Objective: This pilot study evaluated the efficacy of EDC for the Child Development Unit, a hospital-based diagnostic assessment clinic in the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. Caregiver response rates and preference for EDC or paper-based methods were evaluated as well as the moderating role of demographic characteristics such as age, level of education, and ethnic background.
Methods: Families were sent either a paper-based questionnaire via post or an electronic mail link for completion before attending their first on-site clinic appointment for assessment. A total of 62 families were provided a paper version of the questionnaire, while 184 families were provided the online version of the same questionnaire.
Results: Completion rates of the questionnaire before the first appointment were significantly higher for EDC (164/184, 89.1%) in comparison to paper-based methods (24/62, 39%; P<. 001). Within the EDC group, a vast majority of respondents indicated a preference for completing the questionnaire online (151/173, 87.3%), compared to paper completion (22/173, 12.7%; P<. 001). Of the caregiver demographic characteristics, only the respondent’s level of education was associated …