Using mixed methods to analyse barriers to primary paediatric health access
Willis, Eileen Mary
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This paper describes the way in which a mixed methods approach might provide a knowledge base to understand some of the factors involved in access to paediatric healthcare. The paper addresses the potential for this approach to start to build an evidence-informed understanding of a public policy issue. Our research tracked the increase in paediatric presentations at the Woman’s and Children’s Health Service Emergency Department (ED) in South Australia for primary care illness events. The use of ED for primary care services is an increasing issue for emergency service provision. The mixed methods used the Hospital Admission Status (HAS), Paediatric Emergency Department data, analysis of the South Australian Social Health Atlas for demographic and epidemiological data, and triage priority information. This quantitative analysis informed the use of interviews with parents, community health providers and emergency health professionals. Sequencing allowed the researchers to integrate the question over time and revealed policy deficits in health access in Australia.