University Of Tasmania

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State-wide implementation of the Social Attention and Communication Surveillance-Revised (SACS-R)

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 14:17 authored by Morse, Alison, Anthony Barnett, Lyndsay Quarmby
Through the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), access to early intervention services is possible and better outcomes achieved. This study investigated the implementation of the Social Attention and Communication Surveillance-Revised (SACS-R) by the Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS) nurses to identify children at “high likelihood” for ASD. The SACS-R is a developmental surveillance tool that has been used by the CHaPS in rural and urban areas of Tasmania since 2016 as part of children’s routine health checks. Over 100 nurses were trained and undertook surveillance with ~ 6000 children, aged 12-24 months. This practice change was evaluated with the parent and their child at the centre of the process through the use of an innovative methodology, Design Thinking (DT). DT utilises a collaborative approach to aid understanding, development and evaluation of the needs of the stakeholders and their responses regarding the implementation of the SACS-R project. Parents, nurses, service managers, assessment teams, support agencies, allied health professionals and representatives from health and educational associations were recruited to participate in this research. A mixed-method approach was selected to investigate these key stakeholders’ experiences of the implementation of the SACS-R, including questionnaires administered through surveys and follow up in-depth interviews. This paper reports on the research methodology and procedures. It was anticipated that DT would enable greater understanding of the implementation of the SACS-R. I conclude that DT is a robust and effective approach that supports the investigation of unique perspectives. A DT framework captured stakeholder experiences of the implementation process of the SACS-R and therefore can inform the roll out across other Australian jurisdictions and health service settings.


Publication title

15th National Rural Health Conference Proceedings


L Coleman




School of Health Sciences


National Rural Health Alliance

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Event title

15th National Rural Health Conference

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Neonatal and child health

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    University Of Tasmania