As well as ORIGINS long-term core research, there are a number of clinical trials, early interventions and shorter-term research studies that sit within ORIGINS. Known as sub-projects, these studies look at multiple aspects of child and family health and development.
Among many things, COVID has taught us how easy and effective it is to conduct our ORIGINS appointments online in a relaxed and efficient manner, while still giving our families the same benefits they have been promised.
With this in mind, The ORIGINS Project is now conducting the paediatric component of our one- and three-year assessments virtually.
"As the project grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult to squeeze in appointments at a convenient time for families with young children who are balancing life, work and prior commitments," Engagement and Quality Manager, Elayne Downie said. "We don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to discuss their child’s health and development with a paediatrician."
"There is also a nation-wide strain on demand for paediatricians and we have been unable to overcome the challenge of securing consistent time with our ORIGINS doctors."
To make it easier for our young families to attend appointments, and to ensure that all our families can book their assessment appointments in a timely manner, the project will be splitting the one- and three-year timepoints into two separate components.
The child health and development assessment will take place via Telehealth, with an ORIGINS paediatrician, who will go through the results of the questionnaires, that are required at these time points, and will discuss any issues if they are identified.
Parents will also have the opportunity to ask our paediatrician about any concerns or questions they may have about their child.
Families will then come into the ORIGINS clinic at Joondalup Health Campus for their child’s measurements, sample collections and skin prick allergy test with the ORIGINS team.
"We received feedback that many families have actually preferred the virtual appointments we were holding when we had to move to an online service during COVID lockdowns," Elayne said.
"That free appointment, discussing your child's development with a paediatrician, is such a valuable part of the ORIGINS experience for many families, so this ensures that we can continue to provide that opportunity, while also making it more convenient for families who can remain at home."
If any important concerns are flagged within the questionnaires, or during the virtual appointment with the paediatrician, families will be invited to a face-to-face appointment with the doctor or referrals to a specialist will be arranged.
"This shift to virtual appointments places even more importance on completing the questionnaires prior to your time with the paediatrician. We want to make sure all our families make the most of their time with the doctor and gain everything they can from this one-on-one time speaking about their child's health."
For more information about ORIGINS timepoints and what is required by our families, visit the For Participants page.