The activities of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Age Epidemiology are mainly focused on the monitoring of the use of drugs in the pediatric population, on the evaluation of the diagnostic-therapeutic paths of children with chronic pathologies (asthma, epilepsy, neuropsychiatric disorders) and the evaluation of the use of health resources with particular regard to access to the Emergency Department, with the aim of identifying areas of poor appropriateness or still unanswered needs.
Pharmacoepidemiology and analysis of administrative healthcare databases
The research activities in this area mainly concern the evaluation of the appropriateness of drug prescriptions (for example antibiotics and anti-asthmatics) in the paediatric age; the monitoring of the prescription of psychotropic drugs during child growth and development, and the prescription of antiepileptics to children and to women of childbearing age or in pregnancy; the monitoring of the therapeutic care pathways of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders (in particular with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder - ADHD, and with autism spectrum disorders). Additional research activities concern the monitoring of paediatric accesses to emergency departments and the evaluation of deliveries and birth characteristics through analysis of data from the birth certificate (CEDAP). The laboratory is involved in the assessment of healthcare mobility, with particular attention to geographical differences, through the analysis of hospital admissions (Hospital Discharge Forms, SDO).
The NASCITA birth-cohort
The laboratory coordinates a birth cohort of 5,054 children born between 1 April 2019 and 31 July 2020 and cared for by 139 Italian family paediatricians. The purpose of the study is to monitor the growth, development, and health status of Italian children, identifying certain "critical" factors that can compromise their health. A few examples of the aims of the NASCITA Study are: to evaluate the frequency and duration of breastfeeding, the timing and approaches related to infant weaning, and the factors associated with a more positive attitude towards breastfeeding; to describe the growth (height, weight, body mass index) of Italian children, to estimate the percentage of overweight or obese children, to evaluate the risk factors for overweight/obesity, to assess how well some good parental practices (such as reading aloud and listening to music) are known and implemented, and what their impact is.
The transition from paediatric to adult care services for adolescents with chronic diseases
The laboratory coordinates a project funded by the Ministry of Health (Transition care between adolescent and adult services for young people with chronic health needs in Italy - RF-2019-12371228) with the aim to describe the experiences, and the needs, of subjects with three target diseases (epilepsy, ADHD, and diabetes) who have reached adulthood, and the perspectives of health professionals on the transition pathways from paediatric to adult healthcare services in Italy. The project includes a survey with the paediatric and adult services for the three index diseases and a retrospective, qualitative study involving the patients directly. These studies, with the contribution and involvement of young people, families, and professionals, will provide indications for defining recommendations on transition paths that could be activated/adapted at the local level.
International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.