Background Health service planning in paediatric palliative care is complex, with the diverse geographical and demographic characteristics adding to the challenge of developing services across different nations. Accurate and reliable data are essential to inform effective, efficient and equitable health services.
Aim To quantify health service usage by children and young people aged 0–21 years with a life-limiting condition admitted to hospital and health service facilities in Queensland, Australia during the 2011 and 2016 calendar years, and describe the clinical and demographic characteristics associated with health services usage.
Design Retrospective health administrative data linkage of clinical and demographic information with hospital admissions was extracted using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) diagnostic codes. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Setting/participants Individuals aged 0–21 years with a life-limiting condition admitted to a Queensland Public Hospital and Health Service or private hospital.
Results Hospital admissions increased from 17 955 in 2011 to 23 273 in 2016, an increase of 5318 (29.6%). The greatest percentage increase in admissions were for those aged 16–18 years (58.1%, n=1050), and those with non-oncological conditions (36.2%, n=4256). The greatest number of admissions by ICD-10-AM chapter for 2011 and 2016 were by individuals with neoplasms (6174, 34.4% and 7206, 31.0% respectively). Overall, the number of admissions by Indigenous children and young people increased by 70.2% (n=838).
Conclusions Administrative data are useful to describe clinical and demographic characteristics and quantify health service usage. Available data suggest a growing demand for health services by children eligible for palliative care that will require an appropriate response from health service planners.
- chronic conditions
- hospital care
Data availability statement
Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Data used for this research was provided under the Public Health Act (2005) and cannot be shared without the permission of the Director General Queensland.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Twitter @AlisonBowers12, @NatalieKB8, @rayychan, @anthonyherbert9, @patsymyates
Contributors APB designed the research, collected, analysed and interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript. PY and RC designed the research and interpreted the data. NB and AH interpreted the data. All authors revised the manuscript and approved the final version. APB is responsible for the overall content and is the guarantor. All authors had access to the data (including statistical reports and tables).
Funding APB completed this research as a Doctor of Philosophy Candidate and received a student scholarship from Queensland University of Technology and a top-up scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in End-of-Life Care.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.