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Parkville, Australia

Campbell K.J.,Deakin University | Lioret S.,Deakin University | McNaughton S.A.,Deakin University | Crawford D.A.,Deakin University | And 11 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of a parent-focused intervention on infants' obesity-risk behaviors and BMI. METHODS: This cluster randomized controlled trial recruited 542 parents and their infants (mean age 3.8 months at baseline) from 62 first-time parent groups. Parents were offered six 2-hour dietitian-delivered sessions over 15 months focusing on parental knowledge, skills, and social support around infant feeding, diet, physical activity, and television viewing. Control group parents received 6 newsletters on nonobesity-focused themes; all parents received usual care from child health nurses. The primary outcomes of interest were child diet (3 × 24-hour diet recalls), child physical activity (accelerometry), and child TV viewing (parent report). Secondary outcomes included BMI z-scores (measured). Data were collected when children were 4, 9, and 20 months of age. RESULTS: Unadjusted analyses showed that, compared with controls, intervention group children consumed fewer grams of noncore drinks (mean difference = -4.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -7.92 to -0.99; P = .01) and were less likely to consume any noncore drinks (odds ratio = 0.48; 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.95; P = .034) midintervention (mean age 9 months). At intervention conclusion (mean age 19.8 months), intervention group children consumed fewer grams of sweet snacks (mean difference = -3.69; 95% CI: -6.41 to -0.96; P = .008) and viewed fewer daily minutes of television (mean difference = -15.97: 95% CI: -25.97 to -5.96; P = .002). There was little statistical evidence of differences in fruit, vegetable, savory snack, or water consumption or in BMI z-scores or physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: This intervention resulted in reductions in sweet snack consumption and television viewing in 20-month-old children. Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cone B.K.,University of Arizona | Wake M.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Tobin S.,Center for Community Child Health | Poulakis Z.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Rickards F.W.,University of Melbourne
Ear and Hearing | Year: 2010

Objectives: Slight or mild hearing loss has been posited as a factor affecting speech, language, learning, and academic outcomes, but the risk factors for slight-mild sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) have not been ascertained. The two specific aims for this research were (1) to describe the audiometric and clinical characteristics of children identified with slight-mild bilateral SNHL and (2) to compare children with slight-mild SNHL with those with normal hearing (NH) with respect to potential risk factors for congenital or acquired for hearing loss. Design: A cross-sectional cluster sample survey of 6581 children enrolled in years 1 and 5 of Australian elementary school was completed. Children were screened for slight-mild SNHL, defined as a low- and/or high-frequency pure-tone average of 16 to 40 dB HL in the better ear, with air-bone gaps <10 dB. Children who did not pass the screen received air and bone conduction threshold and tympanometry tests to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. The parents of every child who participated in this study completed a questionnaire, before the hearing screening, to ascertain possible risk indicators. The questionnaire included items regarding the family's demographics, hearing status of family members, the presence of risk factors, and parental concern regarding the child's hearing. Results: Fifty-five children with slight-mild SNHL and 5490 with NH were identified. Of the group with SNHL, 39 children had a slight loss (16 to 25 dB HL) and 16 had a mild loss (26 to 40 dB HL). The majority of the losses were bilateral and symmetrical, and the mean pure-tone average for the better ear for all 55 children was 22.4 dB HL (SD, 5.2). The most prevalent risk factor was "neonatal intensive care unit/special care nursery admission," which was reported for 12.5% of the SNHL and 8.4% of the NH group. Reported use of personal stereos was a significant risk factor with an odds ratio of 1.7 (95% confidence interval = 1.0 to 3.0, p = 0.05). The questions relating to parental concern for their child's hearing had low sensitivity (<30%) and very low positive predictive values (<3%) for detecting slight-mild Snhl. Conclusions: Slight-mild SNHL had a prevalence of 0.88% among the school-aged population sampled, with the majority of these children exhibiting bilateral, symmetrical audiometric configurations. Conventional risk factors for hearing loss were not strongly predictive of slight-mild SNHL nor were parental concerns about the child's hearing ability. The association between slight-mild SNHL and the parent report of personal stereo use suggests that this type of noise exposure may be a risk factor for acquired hearing loss. This seems to be the first documentation of such an association in a large sample of young children. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Rimer R.,Center for Community Child Health | Hiscock H.,Center for Community Child Health | Hiscock H.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Hiscock H.,University of Melbourne
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2014

Aim Persistent crying in infancy (i.e. crying that lasts for more than 3 h a day for more than 3 days per week for at least 3 weeks) is widespread. Although there is no gold standard approach to its management, guidelines exist with common management principles. This study aims to document how Australian general paediatricians (i) assess and manage persistent crying compared with published guidelines; (ii) screen for and manage associated post-natal depression; and (iii) rate their training in this area. Methods Online survey were administered to all 394 members of the Australian Paediatric Research Network in November 2011 to February 2012. Members are predominantly general paediatricians. Results A total of 168 paediatricians (45%) responded. The majority (n = 96 (69%)) take one session to assess infant crying and at least two sessions to manage it (n = 106 (79%)). Specific approaches are not always evidence based (e.g. use of antacids/simethicone by 8%) and do not follow available guidelines. Most paediatricians routinely asked about maternal (n = 120 (88%)) but not paternal (n = 51 (33%)) mental health. Paediatricians typically received training around this issue before rather than after gaining formal paediatric qualifications (61% vs. 37%, respectively) and rate their training as satisfactory (67%). Despite this, only 39% feel very confident in managing infant crying. Conclusion The lack of a gold standard approach to managing persistent infant crying has likely contributed to a lack of uniform care among Australian general paediatricians. Given that most paediatricians do not feel very confident in dealing with this problem, there is a scope for further training supported by evidence-based guidelines. © 2013 The Authors.

Trinh A.,Center for Community Child Health | Campbell M.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Ukoumunne O.C.,University of Melbourne | Gerner B.,University of Exeter | Wake M.,Center for Community Child Health
Pediatrics | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVES: Targeting physical activity (PA) is a mainstay in obesity treatment, but its BMI benefits are poorly quantified. We studied longterm predictive PA-BMI relationships in overweight/obese children presenting to primary care. METHODS: Three-year follow-up of 182 overweight/obese 5- to 10-yearolds recruited from 45 Melbourne general practices. Predictor: 7-day accelerometry (counts per minute, cpm). Outcomes: change in BMI z score, BMI category, and clinically significant BMI improvement (z score change 0.5). Analysis: Linear and logistic regression. RESULTS: Mean (SD) baseline and 3-year BMI z scores were 1.8 (0.6) and 1.8 (0.7), and mean (SD) activity scores 334 (111) and 284 (104) cpm, respectively. Baseline activity did not predict BMI change. However, for every 100 cpm increase in change in activity over 3 years, BMI z score fell by 0.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.03-0.20; P = .006). There were also trends toward greater odds of staying in the same, versus moving to a higher, BMI category (odds ratio 1.85, 95% CI 0.99-3.46) and clinically significant BMI improvement (odds ratio 1.96, 95% CI 0.90-4.27; P = .09). Change in percentage time spent in moderate-vigorous (P = .01), but not sedentary (P = .39) or light (P = .59), activity predicted reduced BMI z score. CONCLUSIONS: Sustained increase in moderate-vigorous PA predicts reducing BMI z score over 3 years in overweight/obese children presenting to primary care. However, the small BMI change associated with even the largest activity changes may explain disappointing BMI outcomes of brief primary care interventions targeting PA. Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Giallo R.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Giallo R.,RMIT University | Woolhouse H.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Gartland D.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Children exposed to maternal depression during pregnancy and in the postnatal period are at increased risk of a range of health, wellbeing and development problems. However, few studies have examined the course of maternal depressive symptoms in the perinatal period and beyond on children’s wellbeing. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between both the severity and chronicity of maternal depressive symptoms across the early childhood period and children’s emotional–behavioural difficulties at 4 years of age. Data from over 1,085 mothers and children participating in a large Australian prospective pregnancy cohort were used. Latent class analysis identified three distinct trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from pregnancy to 4 years postpartum: (1) no or few symptoms (61 %), (2) persistent subclinical symptoms (30 %), and (3) increasing and persistently high symptoms (9 %). Regression analyses revealed that children of mothers experiencing subclinical and increasing and persistently high symptoms were at least two times more likely to have emotional–behavioural difficulties than children of mothers reporting minimal symptoms, even after accounting for known risk factors for poor outcomes for children. These findings challenge policy makers and health professionals to consider how they can tailor care and support to mothers experiencing a broader spectrum of depressive symptoms across the early childhood period, to maximize opportunities to improve both short-and long-term maternal and child health outcomes. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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