Paediatric electroencephalograph: the benefits of guidelines

Thompson (nee Milner), Brooke E., Newsom, David, and White, Andrew (2019) Paediatric electroencephalograph: the benefits of guidelines. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 55 (4). pp. 393-398.

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Aim: The electroencephalogram (EEG) is an important but often over-relied upon investigation in evaluating paroxysmal events of childhood. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for epilepsy help clinicians decide which children should/should not have an EEG. Would introduction of these guidelines in our hospital change the ordering practices of our hospital clinicians? Would introduction reduce unnecessary tests and improve rapidity of obtaining an EEG?

Methods: Paediatric EEG requests, results and, where possible, the patient hospital chart were reviewed before and after introduction of an EEG request form (Appendix I) which provided ordering advice as per the NICE epilepsy guideline. Patient age, sex, distance from hospital and ethnicity were reviewed. Also evaluated was clinical indication and time from ordering to performing the EEG.

Results: Prior to the new EEG form, 56% of the EEG requests fulfilled the NICE criteria; after its introduction, this increased to 83%. EEGs ordered within the NICE guidelines were abnormal on 61% of occasions, but when ordered outside of the guidelines they were abnormal only 4% of the time (P < 0.0001). After its introduction there was poor use of the new form in practice (only 29% of requests). However, the EEGs were more likely to meet ordering criteria and fewer tests were required, leading to more rapid turn-around times.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the value of using guidelines to improve timeliness and reduce over-utilisation of EEGs in general paediatric practice.

Item ID: 58189
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1754
Keywords: child, electroencephalograph, epilepsy
Copyright Information: © 2018 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Date Deposited: 01 May 2019 07:31
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420402 Models of care and place of birth @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 100%
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