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Adolescents who present to emergency departments


This is a study of adolescent presentations to emergency departments in a paediatric hospital and in an adult hospital.


Professor Katharine Steinbeck.

Research location

Westmead - Childrens Hospital at Westmead Clinical School

Program type



Emergency departments (EDs) in paediatric hospitals report that they find adolescent presentations challenging because of behavioural problems and the time taken to sort out psychosocial issues. In adult hospitals, emergency departments report the challenges in adolescent care are more around chronic illness and emergency transition with inadequate documentation. There are few empirical data to support these concerns, concerns which are relevant to both the adolescent who presents and the staff who look after them. Under 16 year olds are taken to paediatric EDs if there is an available choice (unless they have a chronic illness and in which case they can be up to 18 years). Those adolescents 16 years and over are taken to adult EDs and can be younger depending on their presentation and the closest ED. We have data from 10-19 year olds from a paediatric and an adult hospital in close proximity and are analyzing these data to better understand the patterns of adolescent presentations. It is anticipated that the findings will confirm different patterns of presentation and also inform further research, patient management and staff education.

Additional information

Additional supervisor is Dr Emily Klineberg

This project is data analysis and would suit an Honour's or Master's project. A sound knowledge of SPSS is essential. The aim is to publish these initial data and to plan further studies in the emergency department management of those groups of adolescents who appear to present challenges in both paediatric and adult hospitals.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 26

Other opportunities with Professor Katharine Steinbeck