The Parental ED Study: Presentation with children with non-urgent/low-severity conditions at Hospital Emergency Departments: Parental Decision Making

Project Details

The aim of this project is to explore the rationale used by parents when deciding to seek care at four large metropolitan hospital EDs for children with non-urgent/low severity conditions.  The study will investigate health service utilization and attitudes towards health services.  We believe strongly that the findings of this project will provide valuable feedback on ED utilization that will inform future planning of health service delivery for children.

Project summary

There has been a documented increase in the number of children utilising hospital Emergency Departments, increasing the burden on limited hospital resources.  We wish to investigate the reasons given by parents for bringing their children to Emergency Departments for treatment, specifically when parents are seeking treatment for non-urgent or low severity conditions.  Parents attending the Emergency Department with children who are triaged with non-urgent/low severity children will be approached to participate in a questionnaire.

Taking approximately 20 minutes to complete, the questionnaire will explore factors potentially associated with decisions to attend the Emergency Department, as well as reasons for choosing the specific Emergency Department over other hospitals. The project is being conducted across four hospital sites (the Austin Hospital, The Northern Hospital, The Royal Children's Hospital, and the Sunshine Hospital). This project poses negligible risks to participants, however will provide valuable feedback on health service utilization that will inform future planning of health services.


Professor Gary Freed

Amy Allen

Amie Bingham

Pilar Cantero-Blanco

Caroline Nicolas


The research is being funded by the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local, Royal Children's Hospital Foundation, and the Department of Health, State Government of Victoria.

Research Group

Health Systems and Workforce

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Policy

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.