Thursday, November 6, 2014

Report on Primary Health Care Research Conference 22-25 July 2014

Report on Primary Health Care Research Conference 22-25 July 2014

By Joanne Baumgartner, HCCA Representative. 

I was lucky enough to be able to attend this conference sponsored by HCCA and I thank the organisation for that as it was a very useful and worthwhile conference to attend. Unlike the previous PrimaryHealth Care Conference that I attended in Brisbane a few years ago, this one was definitely aimed at including the consumer perspective in the majority of sessions that I attended. 

I started off the conference by participating in a Higher Degree Workshop where we were given polo shirts to wear with the words “Agents for Change” written on the back as a catalyst for the day’s workshops. The workshops focused on how we could get our research published and how to write for different purposes and it was a very practical and inclusive day. My reason for being able to participate is that I am currently a Masters student at the University of New South Wales. An added bonus is that I have been given a research profile on the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, ROAR (Registration of Australian Research) website where my published works are available to read at: www.phcris.org.au/roar/profiles/1751 

Some of the workshops that I attended during the following two days included a very interesting workshop on the use of Tibetan Sound Bowls in a nursing home for people with dementia where people were accommodated in separate houses for 6-8 people and the Sound Bowls were played like musical instruments while everyone sat around a large table , placing their hands on the table so that they could feel the vibrations from the music. The results were that there was a significant drop in the agitation and medication required to subdue people as they were calmed down by the sounds coming from the bowls music. The presenters showed a video of the process of playing the Tibetan Sound Bowls and the subsequent reactions from the people residing in the Aged Care Facility. 

The conference as a whole focused on patient or consumer engagement. A very interesting and particularly enlightening speaker right throughout the conference was Professor Nancy Edwards from the University of Ottawa who presented papers on Implementation research which had the focus of being very practical in that all of her research was developed with specific outcomes as an end result and a requirement of her projects. Her main question to all of us was “How are our research methods driving the questions we ask? ”, and  “What types of interventions do we want ?”. Again I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a follow up workshop with Professor Edwards at the Australian National University as an Alumni of the ANU on the following Monday where we had further discussion on Implementation Research and this knowledge will definitely assist me with my postgraduate studies and further research papers that I may think of writing. 

Since the conference and ANU workshop I have submitted another paper for publication with the Operational Research Society in the United Kingdom of which I am a Member, based on the report that I wrote on Infant Mortality in the Australian Capital Territory 2001-2005 when I was HCCA representative on the Maternal and Perinatal Information Network at The Canberra Hospital.


I hope that this report is useful to health care consumers and again thank you to HCCA for sending me to the conference and I was glad to attend the extra two workshops which were free to me as a postgraduate student.

Joanne Baumgartner

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