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.
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.
• Reduced prescribing of AST in infants across three Victorian hospitals
• Increased cessation of ASTs in infants.
Last updated 03 Jul 2020
Page last updated: 24 Nov 2020