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A retrospective chart review of the School Clinic programme for children with intellectual disability

Authors:

Neela SItaram ,

Croydon Community Health Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, AU
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Jacqueline Small,

Croydon Community Health Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, AU
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John Eastwood

Croydon Community Health Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, AU
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Abstract

Introduction: Children with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) often have complex and  unmet health needs and significant limitations in daily life. Schools are key partners along with health service providers to address the challenges faced by these children. In the inner region of Sydney, Australia, we have implemented an interagency model of care, a school clinic, involving special schools attended by children with an IDD, and the Disability Specialist Unit (DSU). This facilitates an integrated discussion of aspects of the child’s daily life, understanding of health issues within a school context, and addresses a barrier to health care access.

Theory/Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of the DSU School Clinic program over a three year period from 2014-2017, to analyse the demographics of children seen, and review outcomes arising from the school clinic. The clinic operates four times per year at three different special schools and each session is attended by parents, a developmental paediatrician, the school principal, the school counsellor and other educators and allied health professionals as needed. All information was obtained from medical records stored within the DSU database.

Results: Over a three year period from 2014 to 2017, a total of 80 children were reviewed in the school clinics. While analysis is ongoing, we are focussing on the following measures: number of children seen in each clinic, demographics, current concerns, health diagnoses, new diagnoses made, treatment plans or recommendations made (eg adjustment of physical therapy, adjustment of pharmacotherapy, referral to other providers or services).

Discussions and conclusions: This interagency model of care has brought together parents, schools and medical providers within the school setting, and our results have shown that it has helped identify new health problems, provided practical assistance to schools in management of children with intellectual disabilities and created partnerships between different sectors. Children with IDD, who are a vulnerable population especially benefit from this innovative model of care.

Limitations: As this was a retrospective chart review, we were only able to obtain information from medical records.

Suggestions for future research: Further research to investigate impacts on parents, school staff and clients, and obtaining their perspectives is warranted.

How to Cite: SItaram N, Small J, Eastwood J. A retrospective chart review of the School Clinic programme for children with intellectual disability. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):321. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s3321
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Published on 08 Aug 2019.

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