The iTAP study (interviews exploring Tests in Ambulatory Paediatrics)
The iTAP study is exploring clinician and stakeholder views on bedside tests for unwell children.
The number of children being seen in emergency departments and being admitted for hospital care is increasing. This has mostly been for recently-acquired (otherwise known as “acute”) infections. It can be difficult to distinguish children who are seriously unwell and require hospital care from those who can be safely cared-for at home. There also aren’t many tests to help pick up childhood cancer or serious illness than can be treated with surgery.
Point-of-care, or bedside, tests give quick results. They can be used during triage visits, e.g. in the GP surgery, or the Accident and Emergency department, to help find out what is wrong with a child and guide how they should be treated. Wearables (e.g. temperature monitors) and smart phone applications (for instance, noticing fits) might also provide useful information for doctors and nurses.
We wish to discover, from clinicians and stakeholders, when, where, how and why point-of-care tests and technologies in ambulatory paediatrics could be useful. To do this we will interview doctors and nurses who work in different settings, such as GP practices, Accident and Emergency departments, and out-of-hours clinics. We will also interview those working for children’s commissioning groups and children’s charities.
It is hoped that this study will highlight where further work is needed, and may help guide development of new effective technologies within children’s medicine.