Chronic or persistent pain is a growing global health problem. Effective management of pain emerging in childhood may prevent long-term health and vocational consequences. Internationally, paediatric pain services are a limited resource and, as such, must strive to improve equity, outcomes, and value for money. The Paediatric electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (PaedePPOC) is a binational paediatric outcome measurement centre that aims to measure, benchmark, and improve children's specialist pain services in Australasia. This study documents the establishment of PaedePPOC and presents baseline and initial outcome data. Binational consensus meetings determined the measures. Governance structures, collection protocols, information technology, site-specific logistics, and onsite training were achieved within 18 months. Children and parents complete baseline and progress questionnaires. Seven of 10 Australasian services provided data to PaedePPOC, with 1432 patients enrolled until June 2018. At baseline, patients were 12.4 ± (3.0) years, 68% female, 93% Australian-born, and 5% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Most had moderate–severe functional disability and impaired quality of life, with pain affecting school attendance and employment. Opioid-containing medicines were used often or daily by 16%. Patients completing outcome measures at treatment end reported clinically significant improvement in pain intensity (49% of patients), functional ability (59%), and quality of life (69%). The PaedePPOC initiative has been successfully integrated into children's pain services, yielding timely point-of-care information to support clinicians and families, and valuable binational and service data to inform quality improvement and future sector planning.
Paediatric electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration has been successfully established and embedded in Australian children's persistent pain services, laying the foundation for sector-wide benchmarking and quality improvement.
aChildren's Complex Pain Service, John Hunter Children's Hospital, Newcastle, Australia
bSchool of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia
cHunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Australia
dElectronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
gAustralian Health Services Research Institute, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
ePriority Research Centre GrowUpWell, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia
fSchool of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia
Corresponding author. Address: Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong, iC Enterprise 1, Innovation Campus, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel.: +61-2-4221-4023; fax: +61-2-4221-4679. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (H.P. Tardif).
Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.
Received October 10, 2018
Received in revised form February 24, 2019
Accepted February 26, 2019