• Burns
  • Dermatology and skin cancer
  • Medical image analysis
  • Paediatrics
  • Radiology and imaging
  • Surgery and subspecialties

Location: Child Health Research Centre

Type of student: 

  • Extra-curricular only (this represents research work experience opportunities that students may do during spare time and holiday periods)

Type of work: 

  • Systematic review

Brief synopsis:

We will be conducting a scoping review to identify how ultrasound has been used in the literature to measure pathological and physiological skin thickness. Ultrasound is used to measure skin thickness in numerous clinical and research settings. These include, but are not limited to hypertrophic scarring, scleroderma, diabetes, and ageing. Ultrasound is used regularly at the Pegg Leditshke Children’s Burns Centre at the Queensland Children’s Hospital to measure the thickness of hypertrophic burn scars, particularly prior to the application of ablative fractional CO2 laser and/or microneedling treatments.

Although generally considered an ‘objective’ method of skin thickness measurement (as opposed to observer scoring, for example), there remains a degree of practitioner subjectivity in the application and interpretation of ultrasound. At present, no standardised methodology exists for the measurement of skin thickness using ultrasound. This project aims to produce an evidence- and consensus-based guideline in 3 steps: 1) conducting a scoping review to identify ultrasound methods used in the literature for the measurement of skin thickness; 2) using the methods identified in the scoping review to conduct a Delphi consensus study; and 3) synthesising the review and consensus study into a methodological guideline.


In your role, you will be assisting in the completion of the scoping review (step 1 above). You will work closely with the lead author of the review in undertaking two rounds of independent screening of publications identified by database and additional searching. Screening will be completed in Covidence, with results compared to ensure agreement is reached between the two of you, and disagreements will be solved through discussion, or by consultation with a third reviewer. The first screening round will be title and abstract screening, which will be followed by full-text screening. Following the finalisation of screening, with agreement reached between the two (or possibly three, if needed) authors, relevant data will be extracted for the purposes of the review. Data extraction will be completed in Microsoft Excel into a prespecified data extraction template. Again, you will be working closely with the lead author, to complete data extraction independently, and then compare results. This research project will form part of the PhD thesis for a University of Queensland student.

Outputs linked to your contribution:

While this is a volunteer position, completion of both stages of screening and data extraction, as well as assistance in manuscript drafting will allow you to be listed as an author on the resultant publication. It is anticipated that the scoping review will be referenced widely in many disciplines involving skin research.

Time frame:

  • Completion of majority of the work by December 2021, paper revisions expected up to December 2022.


Dr Zephanie Tyack

Dr Zephanie Tyack

Honorary Senior Fellow
Child Health Research Centre

Main contact

Brandon Meikle