In Australia, little information is collected about hand differences which has left many unanswered questions, including how many children are born with a hand difference each year, possible causes and determining support needs. A lack of data recording the incidence of hand differences diminishes the ability for support groups such as Aussie Hands to access funding.
For many years, Aussie Hands has been an advocate for the establishment of a
register, and over the last two years has been an integral part in the development of the Australian Hand Difference Register. The register commenced in August 2017 and is recording data of children born with a hand difference and/or arm difference.
The register is managed by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is located at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. To begin with, the register will focus on children attending the Royal Children’s Hospital, before being extended within Victoria, and then Australia-wide.
The Australian Hand Difference Register aims to:
- find out how many children are born with a hand/arm difference in Australia.
- learn more about possible causes and risk factors
- gain information to help plan and gain funding for future support services.
- identify possible participants for future research.
The register is currently funded by Aussie Hands and additional funding has been
obtained from the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery.