Parent and caregiver preparedness for their child’s first burns outpatient clinic visit

Ms Nicole Alexander1, Ms Ioanna Coutsouvelis1, Associate Professor  Warwick  Teague1,2,3

1The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Parkville, Australia, 2Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville, Australia, 3Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia



An outpatient paediatric burns clinic can be a busy, fast paced and overwhelming environment. Preparing children, parents and caregivers prior to attending their first appointment provides knowledge, some predictability and control over their experience (Bell et al. 2009). Referrals to clinic are received from a range of sources, therefore the information provided may be variable. This project aims to determine the preparedness of parents and caregivers in our multidisciplinary clinic. Secondary aims include exploring factors that may identify those requiring additional supports in burns clinic.

Methodology: Following ethics approval, a survey is to be conducted to assess preparedness for first burns clinic appointment. Data to be collected includes source, format and details of information provided to parents and caregivers. Specifically, the focus will be on their awareness of staff present in clinic, pain relief options, sedation, comfort positioning and parental role. Based on the information provided by the referrer, parent and caregiver preparedness will be evaluated. Demographics and mechanism of burn will be reviewed to identify any factors indicating that additional support may be required.

Results: The data collected from the survey will be used to evaluate parent and caregiver preparedness for clinic and highlight any areas of improvement for future service provision. Results will be conveyed using descriptive statistics, augmented by examples of free text responses.


Bell, J., Johnson, B., Desai, P., McLeod, S. 2009, ‘Psychological Preparation and Coping’ in Thompson, R.H (eds), The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care, Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Illinois pp160-198.


Nicole Alexander is a paediatric Physiotherapist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in the Burns and Plastics team.

Ioanna Coutsouvelis is an Occupational Therapist who works with the Burns and Plastics team at The Royal Children’s hospital in the area of hand therapy.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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