Allergy in the Community Trial (ACT)

Food allergies are becoming more and more common in children and babies. This means that a lot of children end up on hospital outpatient waiting lists for specialist allergy advice. As hospital waiting list times are around 18 months, we want to try a new approach to caring for babies and children with possible food allergies.

Funding

This research is funded by The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Foundation.

Aims

This research project aims to improve the management of food allergies in babies and children and is designed to see if community paediatricians (children’s doctors) can look after children with possible food allergies in a similar way to The Royal Children’s Hospital allergy specialists.

In this study, we will compare two groups of children with possible food allergy:

Group 1 “RCH Allergy Clinic Group” - children currently on RCH Hospital Allergy Clinic wait list, who will stay on the wait list.
Group 2 “Community Group” - children currently on the RCH wait list who will instead be offered an appointment with a community paediatrician.

Methodology

Families are asked to take part in this project if they have a child who is under 12 years old, and is on the RCH Allergy Clinic waiting list for evaluation of possible simple food allergy.

Families assigned to the “RCH Allergy Group” (group 1) will stay on the RCH waiting list to see an allergy clinician at the RCH Allergy Clinic.  Families assigned to the “Community Group” (group 2) will have an appointment with a community paediatrician, who has been trained by RCH allergy specialists to care for children with food allergy. These families will be taken off the RCH Allergy Clinic waiting list. The community paediatrician will be located near the family’s home so families won’t need to travel to the RCH Allergy Clinic. The community paediatrician may also be able to see some children earlier than the specialist can at the hospital.

As part of the study, each parent/guardian will fill in 3 surveys; a recruitment survey at the time they enter the study, and follow up surveys after 6 and 12 months of joining the study. These surveys will ask about time taken to be seen by a doctor for the child’s allergy, child wellbeing, what happened during the visit to the general paediatrician or allergy clinician (including diagnoses made), family out of pocket costs for care and also satisfaction with their care.

Want to know more about the Allergy in The Community Trial?

Download the Parent Information Statements

Allergy in the Community Trial Parent Information Statement - Control Group

Allergy in the Community Trial Parent Information Statement - Intervention Group

Allergy in the Comminity Trial Parent Information Statement - Intervention Survey Only Group

Methodology:

 Prospective Controlled Trial

Date:

Start: July 2015

Finish: July 2018

Contacts/Staff involved:

Associate Professor Harriet Hiscock
harriet.hiscock@rch.org.au

Dr Margie Danchin
margie.danchin@rch.org.au

Professor Mimi Tang
mimi.tang@rch.org.au

Dr Valerie Sung
valerie.sung@rch.org.au