Project Lead

Professor Harriet Hiscock

Full Bio

Lead partner

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


Northern Health; Royal Children’s Hospital; The University of Melbourne

Project summary

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This project aims to identity modifiable: (1) health system, (2) primary care, and (3) family factors associated with asthma re-admissions.

We will follow a group of children who were admitted to one of three hospitals for asthma treatment in 2017. We will compare a group of children with at least 1 subsequent asthma re-admission in 2018 to the group of children who are not re-admitted during this time.

We know from previous studies that to keep children out of hospitals, partnerships between hospitals, GPs and families are important. We will therefore identify modifiable differences in the hospital management between these two groups of children, i.e. whether an asthma action plan was given, preventer medication was prescribed when indicated and follow-up was arranged. We will identify differences in treating GPs’ understanding of asthma and adherence to best practice guidelines. Families provide the day to day care for children with asthma and are ideally placed to drive and coordinate care. We will interview families to better understand their knowledge of asthma, how they manage an asthma attack, any problems with access to health services and medications, and what may stop them giving their child their preventer medications.

Findings will inform better asthma care through (i) dissemination to clinicians and families and (ii) future interventions. We will disseminate findings through the Victorian Paediatric Clinical Network (network of hospitals caring for children), GP electronic guidelines, and journal publication(s). Project partners will use findings to develop and test novel interventions.

Expansion activities include co-designing and testing across the Australian Hospital Research Network of an innovative model of care (app) to increase family and GP care for children with asthma in the community. Health services guidelines will also be revised and GP education programs developed based on findings from the study.


  • Chen, K., Saxon, L., Robertson, C. and Hiscock, H. (2021), Reducing asthma hospitalisations in at-risk children: A systematic review. J Paediatr Child Healthorg/10.1111/jpc.15666


  • Chen K, Lawrence J, Berry A, Hiscock H, Robertson C. (2020) Can Burst Ventolin Therapy be safely given at home to reduce emergency and hospital presentations with asthma in children?J Paediatr Child Health. 2020;56:1657-8 doi: 1111/jpc.15153 PMID 33099820


  • Jones, R, Turner, B, Perera, P, Hiscock, H, & Chen, K. (2021). Understanding caregiver perspectives on challenges and solutions to pediatric asthma care for children with a previous hospital admission: a multi-site qualitative study. The Journal of Asthma: Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma, 1–8.