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Introduction: Despite the widespread availability of clinical guidelines, considerable gaps remain between the care that is recommended (appropriate care) and the care provided. This protocol describes a research methodology to develop clinical indicators for appropriate care for common paediatric conditions. Methods and analysis: We will identify conditions amenable to population-level appropriateness of care research and develop clinical indicators for each condition. Candidate conditions have been identified from published research; burden of disease, prevalence and frequency of presentation data; and quality of care priority lists. Clinical indicators will be developed through searches of national and international guidelines, and formatted with explicit criteria for inclusion, exclusion, time frame and setting. Experts will review the indicators using a wiki-based approach and modified Delphi process. A formative evaluation of the wiki process will be undertaken. Ethics and dissemination: Human Research Ethics Committee approvals have been received from Sydney Children's Hospital Network, Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, and the Women's and Children's Health Network (South Australia). Applications are under review with Macquarie University and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. We will submit the results of the study to relevant journals and offer national and international presentations.
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