Co-designing discharge communication strategies for paediatric mild head injuries

Poor quality discharge communication negatively impacts patient safety and health outcomes, leads to parental stress, and results in costly return visits to the ED. Parents and children are known to leave the ED without fully understanding discharge information and frequently make errors related to the knowledge and execution of ED discharge instructions. Interventions to improve discharge communication in paediatric EDs vary widely in design and effectiveness with parents and children rarely involved in their design. Discharge recommendations were recently updated as part of the PREDICT Australian and New Zealand Guideline for Mild to Moderate Head Injuries in Children.

This study aims to:

To develop (1) a tailored training program to prepare parents, youth and clinicians in co-design efforts and (2) test the usability of a ED discharge communication strategy co-designed by parents, youth and clinicians for mild head injuries.

Study design

A co-design team including 3 parents of adolescents who have experienced concussive symptoms, 3 youths who have experienced concussive symptoms, 4 ED clinicians (nurses and doctors) and implementation researchers will be created and follow a tailored training program to develop communication strategies after ED visits for paediatric mild head injuries.

Usability testing will be undertaken at 2 EDs with parents, youths and ED clinicians not directly involved in designing the interventions. Usability testing will involve observation and interviews in iterative cycles to further refine the prototypes.

Chief Investigators

Emma Tavender (Principal Investigator)
Cate Wilson (Associate Investigator)
Doris Tham (Associate Investigator)
Franz Babl (Associate Investigator)
Stephanie Best (Associate Investigator)
Vanessa Rausa (Associate Investigator)
Terry Carroll (Associate Investigator)
Janet Curran (International Collaborator, Canada)
Mari Somerville (International Collaborator, Canada)




National Health and Medical Research Council ­ Centre for Research Excellence (ID 1171228)
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Clinical Science Integrative Fellowship

Site locations

Royal Children’s Hospital, VIC (AI Franz Babl)
Sunshine Hospital, VIC (AI Doris Tham)


Emma Tavender (