Child Health

Our Unit works with clinicians and other researchers on a broad range of child health themes.

Area leads

Prof Kim Dalziel, A/Prof Ilias Goranitis, Dr Natalie Carvalho

Childhood is a critical period for establishing healthy lifetime trajectories and health economics plays an important role in evaluating programs and outcomes and informing resource allocation decisions. The Health Economics Unit produces internationally leading research in Child Health Economics and works collaboratively with world class clinicians and researchers on a range of child health themes.

The HEU are leading the worlds largest paediatric multi-instrument comparison study (QUOKKA P-MIC) the “Quality of Kids’ Lives Study’ which is testing the performance of paediatric quality of life measures in over 6000 children including those with serious conditions. This will enable high quality HRQoL information to be incorporated in child health economic evaluations.

Key collaborations occur with the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the Royal Women’s Hospital. Professor Kim Dalziel is co-Group Leader of Health Services and Economics at the MCRI.

Our health economics research is impacting clinical practice and policy around the world and spans:

  • Assessing acceptability, feasibility and measurement of health-related quality of life in children
  • Using psychometric techniques to test the measurement properties of child instruments
  • Conducting quality of life valuation studies and advancing valuation methodology, including the derivation of health state utility values
  • Eliciting societal and patient preferences and values for health and non-health outcomes in children, including genomics for childhood-onset rare diseases
  • Economic evaluations alongside paediatric clinical trials and cohort studies
  • Exploring the social value of a child QALY and comparing child versus adult QALYs
  • Low and middle-income country-focused child health economics
  • Conceptualising and measuring unmet need for mental health services in children
  • Health economics of child mental health and adversity
  • Health economics and health services research in paediatrics

Related research staff:

Dr Li Huang, Dr Tessa Peasgood, Dr Xinyang Hua, Dr Cate Bailey , Dr Jemimah Ride, Dr Tianxin Pan

Projects Listing

  • QUOKKA: QUality OF Life in Kids: Key evidence to strengthen decisions in Australia
  • Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service (CPRS): Implementation and evaluation
  • EuroQol: Adapting the EQ-D-Y for children aged 2-4 years
  • Development and Validation of a Preference-Based Index for the PedsQL (PedsUtil). PhRMA Foundation Value Assessment Research Awards, US
  • HRQoL and genomics including impacts on carers
  • Neonatal clinical trials and a Centre for Research Excellence (HIPSTER, HUNTER, PLUSS, SURFS-UP)
  • Economic evaluation of childhood vaccines in the Pacific
  • Allergy clinical trials and a Centre for Research Excellence (LMNOP, PPOIT3, VITALITY)
  • Healthcare services utilization for children: how children use health services and the associated costs
  • Economic evaluation of iron supplementation in infants to prevent anaemia
  • Parental preferences for health and other care for children with chronic medical conditions or mental health problems
  • EuroQol: An Australian Value Set for the EQ-5D-Y
  • Bridging the primary to secondary school transition: intervening to improve mental health and wellbeing
  • Systematic review of outcome measures used in evaluation of school-based mental health interventions
  • Should Medicare fund a rebate for an adolescent and young person’s health assessment in general practice? A cluster randomised trial

Selected Publications


Goranitis, I., Wu, Y., Lunke, S., White, S. M., Tan, T. Y., Yeung, A., Hunter, M. F., Martyn, M., Gaff, C., & Stark, Z. (2022). Is faster better? An economic evaluation of rapid and ultra-rapid genomic testing in critically ill infants and children. Genetics in Medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, 24(5):1037–1044.

Bailey C, Dalziel K, Cronin P, Devlin N, Viney R. How are Child-Specific Utility Instruments Used in Decision Making in Australia? A Review of Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Public Summary Documents. PharmacoEconomics. 2022:40:157-182.

Spittle AJ et al. Missing out on precious time: Extending paid parental leave for parents of babies admitted to neonatal intensive or special care units for prolonged periods. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2022: 58(3):376-81.

O'Loughlin R, Hiscock H, Pan T, Devlin N, Dalziel K. The relationship between physical and mental health multimorbidity and children’s health-related quality of life. Quality of Life Research. 2022:31:2119-2131.


Huang L, Manley B, Arnolda G, Owen L, Wright I, Foster JP, David P, Buckmaster A, Dalziel K. Cost-Effectiveness of Nasal CPAP versus High Flow for Newborn Infants in Special-Care Nurseries. Pediatrics. 2021:148(2): e2020020438

Fanning L, Woods E, Koplin JJ, Hornung CJ, Perrett KP, Tang MLK, Dalziel K, Cost-Effectiveness of Food Allergy Interventions in Children: A Systematic Review of Economic Evaluations. Value in Health. 2021: 24(9):1360-1376.

Wu, Y., Balasubramaniam, S., Rius, R., Thorburn, D. R., Christodoulou, J., & Goranitis, I. (2021). Genomic sequencing for the diagnosis of childhood mitochondrial disorders: a health economic evaluation. European journal of human genetics: EJHG, 10.1038/s41431-021-00916-8. Advance online publication.

Jones, R, Hiscock, H, Wurzel, D, Kao, K-T, Freeman, JL, & Ride, J. Mental healthcare for children with chronic conditions: a qualitative study. Archives of disease in childhood. 2021 (published online 21 June 2021)

Xiong, X., Dalziel, K., Carvalho, N. Xu R, & Huang L. Association between 24-hour movement behaviors and health-related quality of life in children. Qual Life Res (2021).

Hiscock H, Pelly R, Hua X, West S, Tucker D, Raymundo CM, Dalziel K. Survey of paediatric telehealth benefits from the caregiver perspective. Australian Health Review.2021:46:197-203.

Jones R, Mulhern B, McGregor K, Yip S, O’Loughlin R, Devlin N, Hiscock H, Dalziel K. Psychometric Performance of HRQoL Measures: An Australian Paediatric Multi-Instrument Comparison Study Protocol (P-MIC). Children. 2021: 8(8):714.

Jones R, Hiscock H, Wurzel D, Kao K-T, Freeman J, Ride J. Mental healthcare for children with chronic conditions: a qualitative study. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2021.


Ride J, Huang L, Mulraney M, Hiscock H, Coghill D, Sawyer M, Dalziel K. Is ‘minimally adequate treatment’ really adequate? investigating the effect of mental health treatment on quality of life for children with mental health problems. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2020: 276, 327-34.

Huang L, Freed G, Dalziel K. Children with special health care needs: how special are their health care needs? Academic Pediatrics. 2020: 20(8):1109-15.

Dalziel K, Catchpool M, Garcia-lorenzo B, Gorostiza I, Norman R, Rivero-Arias O. Feasibility, Validity and Differences in Adolescent and Adult EQ‑5D‑Y Health State Valuation in Australia and Spain: An Application of Best–Worst Scaling. PharmacoEconomics, 2020: 38:499-513.

Newman, S., Mcloughlin, J., Skouteris, H., Blewitt, C., Melhuish, E. and Bailey, C. (2020). Does an integrated, wrap-around school and community service model in an early learning setting improve academic outcomes for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds?  Early Child Development and Care DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2020.1803298

Wu, Y., Al-Janabi, H., Mallett, A., Quinlan, C., Scheffer, I. E., Howell, K. B., Christodoulou, J., Leventer, R. J., Lockhart, P. J., Stark, Z., Boughtwood, T., & Goranitis, I. (2020). Parental health spillover effects of paediatric rare genetic conditions. Quality of life research: an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation, 29(9): 2445–2454.


Bailey, C., Knight, T., Koolmatrie, J. & Powell, M. (2019) Indigenous stakeholder’s evaluation of Operation RESET, a community engagement initiative to address child sexual abuse in remote Indigenous communities. Australian Psychologist. 54:3:187-192

Bailey, C., Klas, A,. Cox, R., Bergmeier, H., Avery, J., Skouteris, H. (2019)  Systematic review of organisation-wide, trauma-informed care models in out-of-home care (OoHC) settings. Health & Social Care in the Community, 27, 3.DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12621 URL

Huang L, Hiscock H, Dalziel K. Parents’ perception of children’s mental health: seeing the signs but not the problems. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2019:104(11).

Dalziel K, Huang L, Saxena A, Winlaw D. Utilization of hospital inpatient resources by children requiring a right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery conduit in the first 10 years of life. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2019:159(1):e73-e75.

Ibrahim LF, Huang L, Hopper SM, Dalziel K, Babl FE, Bryant PA. Intravenous ceftriaxone at home verus intravenous flucloxacillin in hospital for children with cellulitus: a cost-effectiveness analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2019:19(10):1101-08.

Catchpool M, Dalziel K, Mahardya RTK, Harvey AS. Cost-effectiveness of epileptic surgery compared with medical treatment in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy and Behavior, 2019: 97:253-59.

Dalziel K, Cheek JA, Fanning L, Borland ML, Phillips N, Kochar A, et al. for the Pediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT). A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Comparing Clinical Decision Rules PECARN, CATCH, and CHALICE With Usual Care for the Management of Pediatric Head Injury. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2019:73(5):429-39.


Bailey, C., Knight, T., Koolmatrie, J. Brubacher, S. & Powell, M. (2018). Indigenous Perspectives on Operation RESET: An Initiative to Improve the Identification and Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Incidents in Remote Indigenous Communities. Australian Psychologist. doi:10.1111/ap.12349

Dalziel L, Huang L, Hisscock H, Clarke P. Born equal? The distribution of government Medicare spending for children. Social Science & Medicine. 2018: 208:50-54.

Tew M, Hiscock H, Efron D, Dalziel K. What medications are Australian children prescribed? Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2018: 54(3):335-36. (Top 25% Altmetric).

Howell KB, Eggers S, Dalziel K, Riseley J, Mandelstam S, Carvill GL, Mefford HC, Scheffer IE, Harvey AS. Aetiologies and cost-effectiveness of genomic testing in severe epilepsies of infancy: a population based study Epilepsia, 2018:59(6):1177-81.

Huang L, Owen L, Manley B, Roberts C, Davis P, Dalziel K Cost-effectiveness analysis of nasal CPAP versus nasal high flow therapy as primary support for preterm infants. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2018:196:58-64: e2. (top 25% Altmetric).


Bailey, C., Powell, M., & Brubacher, S. P. (2017). The attrition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous child sexual abuse cases in two Australian jurisdictions. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. DOI: 10.1037/law0000119

Huang L, Dalziel K, Schilling C, Celermajer D, McNeil J, Winlaw D, ... & d'Udekem Y. (2017). Hospital costs and cost implications of co-morbid conditions for patients with single ventricle in the period through to Fontan completion. International Journal of Cardiology. 240:178-182.