What is child health research?

Research is important because it helps us find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat health conditions in children and young people. Health research helps us achieve our vision of healthy kids, healthy communities.

Research is an important part of what we do at the CAHS in our three service areas; Perth Children's Hospital, Community Health and Mental Health services.

We have a wide range of research areas because we work with and care for a diverse range of children, young people and families.

Frequently asked questions

What is health research?
Research usually starts with an idea for how something can be done better, and a research project tests the theory or idea. Health research focuses on improvements in healthcare, clinical treatment and ways to prevent people getting sick in the first place. It is sometimes called medical research or clinical research.

Over 250 researchers are working across our health service on research projects. Many of these researchers are the same health professionals who work with our children every day, and they are passionate about making positive changes to child health and wellbeing.

What is involved?
Children, young people and families play a valuable role in research.

Researchers need children and families who match a specific criteria for each research study. This may include children with a specific illness or injury, or even healthy children.

You and your family can be part of research in many ways, such as:
  • filling in surveys
  • giving permission for researchers to look at existing samples or medical records
  • being involved in a clinical trial for new treatments
  • prevention programs
  • medical tests or screening tests
  • being interviewed about your family’s history or your experience of caring for your child.

We may invite you to take part while your child is receiving services from us, or it could involve regular contact over a period of time.

Is it safe to be involved?
Before starting a research study, researchers need approval from an ethics committee who ensure that any research is carried out in a safe way that meets national standards and legal requirements. Ethical approval also makes sure that research is culturally appropriate.
What happens if I am asked to be involved in research?
Your decision to be involved is made AFTER you have received and understood all the information about the study. You will be able to talk to your doctor, healthcare team or the researcher about the study and ask any questions that you may have.

You do not have to enrol in research if you or your child does not want to.

Whether or not you participate in a study will not change the care your child receives from us in any way. 

You should always include your child in decisions about participating in research.