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Summary

Gastro-oesophageal reflux is common in infants but is often misdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily with acid suppression therapy (AST) which can cause harm.

Prior to this project commencing, we found:

  • 52 per cent of parents surveys reported their infant was prescribed an AST
  • parents and clinicians had a poor understanding that ASTs caused harm and could not identify specific harms
  • 67 per cent believed that AST medications had benefits for infants
  • clinician confidence and capability to manage infants with gastro-oesophageal reflux or discuss potential harms and benefits of AST with parents varied.

Outcome

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Together with the Royal Children’s Hospital, we:

  • worked with four Victorian hospitals to understand why acid suppression therapy (AST) continues to be unnecessarily prescribed to infants with gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • co-developed the resources with clinicians and consumers representative
  • piloted the materials at three Victorian hospitals. 

As a result of the pilot, we saw a:

  • 21 per cent reduction in AST prescribing in infants
  • 46 per cent increase in clinicians advising parents to cease ASTs in infants
  • 19 per cent increase in parents recognising that ASTs can cause harm in infants.

Target

•    Reduced prescribing of AST in infants across three Victorian hospitals
•    Increased cessation of ASTs in infants.

Project summary

Get in touch

Centre of Clinical Excellence - Women and Children
Safer Care Victoria

Page last updated: 24 Nov 2020

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