Speaking Softly and Listening Hard: The Process of Involving Young Voices from a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse School in Child Health Research

The involvement of young people in the planning of research continues to be rare, particularly for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This paper describes our experience in establishing a Youth Research Advisory Group (YRAG) in South West Sydney (SWS), including barriers and successful strategies. One hundred and fifteen students between school Years 7 and 12 (ages 11–18) took part in at least one of five sessions between 2019 and 2021. In total, we carried out 26 YRAG sessions, with between five and 30 students in each. Sessions focused on mapping the health priorities of the participants and co-developing research project proposals related to their health priorities. Our work with students revealed that their main areas of concern were mental health and stress. This led to material changes in our research strategy, to include “Mental Health” as a new research stream and co-develop new mental health-related projects with the students. Important strategies that enabled our research included maintaining flexibility to work seamlessly with organisational and individual preferences, and ensuring our processes were directed by the schools and—most importantly—the students themselves. Strategies such as maintaining an informal context, responding rapidly to student preference, and regularly renegotiating access enabled us to engage with the students to deepen our understanding of their experiences. 

Health status and health service use of urban Aboriginal children attending an Aboriginal community child health service in Sydney

There is limited information on the health status of urban Australian Aboriginal children and young people attending community-based child health services. Such information is vital to plan appropriate services. The objective of the study is to describe the health status and service use of children and young people presenting to an urban Aboriginal Community Paediatric Service in Sydney, Australia. It is essential that we address the mental, developmental and psychosocial needs of Aboriginal children and young people who attend urban Community Child Health services. Integrated service models should be developed in partnership with Aboriginal community to do this.

Community-based interventions for childhood asthma using comprehensive approaches: A systematic review and meta-analysis

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of comprehensive community-based interventions with ≥ 2 components in improving asthma outcomes in children. Community-based asthma care using more comprehensive approaches may improve childhood asthma management and reduce asthma related health care utilization.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their parents

We examined the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child mental health and socio-emotional and physical well-being (including sleep, diet, exercise, use of electronic media; care giver perceptions of symptoms of child neurodevelopmental disability [NDD] and comorbidities), and care giver mental health and well-being, social support and service use. Targeted interventions are required to address worsening child neurodevelopmental disability, mental health symptoms and poor diet, sleep and exercise patterns. Improved access to telehealth services is indicated, as is further research on barriers and enablers of effective telehealth services.