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Contents - 3 May 2007

PHCRIS update

It was a very good year - PHCRIS looks back on 2006

The PHCRIS 2006 Annual Report is now available online in both HTML and PDF formats. PHCRIS' purpose is to inform, influence and enhance primary health care practice, policy and research by generating, managing and sharing timely relevant information. In 2006 PHCRIS achieved its objectives and outcomes, by enabling improved access to data and information, enhanced sharing of information and knowledge, leading to a better understanding of primary health care.
To see how we how we achieved our goals in 2006 and our vision for 2007 take a look at the report now

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2007 GP & PHC Research Conference Update

Final call for Conference Partnerships 

2007 GP & PHC Research Conference, 23-25 May 2007
The GP & PHC Research  Conference is a highly respected event in the world of primary health care research and general practice. Many an idea, research project, knowledge exchange and fostering ongoing, enduring relations is facilitated through this annual gathering of like minds. The conference focuses on issues surrounding primary health care and general practice. It attract delegates from not only right across Australia but also it is as far reaching as Europe, Canada, and the UK. And the exposure to such a captive audience is invaluable !
This is a call, and our final call , to all who wish to become a Conference Partner through any one of the sponsorship options available to you!  If you are interested in taking up this opportunity  you can find details on our website. We offer our Conference partners a number of avenues. W e would like to welcome you on board as a Conference partner. This event has been running extremely sucessfully for 13 consecutive years. And this year is proving to be the most exciting one yet. We look forward to welcome you aboard as a Conference Partner in one of the industry's high respected annual events.
More information is available at:

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Articles of Interest

Better outcomes in mental health care: impact of different models of psychological service provision on patient outcomes

Morley B, Pirkis J, Sanderson K, Burgess P, Kohn F, Naccarella L, Blashki G. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;41(2):142-9
This article gives the results from the evaluation of the 108 Access to Allied Health Services projects run by Divisions of General Practice.

The Top End Mental Health Services General Practice Clinic: an initiative for patients with serious mental illness

Symonds D, Parker R. Australas Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;15(1):58-61
Gives an overview of the benefits of establishing a general practice clinic within a community mental health service. The clinic was established in collaboration between the Division of General Practice and the Mental Health Service. It was able to provide longer appointments than usual which allowed for screening of serious illness as well aas health promotion activities. The General Practice Clinic was able to address the significant health needs for patients with serious mental illness in a manner that was ahead of national benchmarks for this patient group. [Abstract précis by PHCRIS]

GPs' use of problem solving therapy for depression: a qualitative study of barriers to and enablers of evidence based care

Pierce D, Gunn J. BMC Fam Pract. 2007 Apr 25;8(1):24 [Epub ahead of print]
Problem solving therapy (PST) is recognised as an effective treatment for depression that is not widely used by GPs. This paper explores barriers and enablers that may influence GPs use of this treatment.

Quality of chronic disease care in general practice: the development and validation of a provider interview tool

Judith Proudfoot, Upali W Jayasinghe, Fernando Infante, Justin Beilby, Cheryl Amoroso, Gawaine Powell Davies, Jane Grimm, Christine Holton, Tanya Bubner and Mark F Harris BMC Family Practice 2007, 8:21
This article describes the development and psychometric evaluation of an interview instrument to assess provider-reported quality of general practice care for patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma - the Australian General Practice Clinical Care Interview (GPCCI).

Project IMPACT: a report on barriers and facilitators to sustainability

Blasinsky M, Goldman HH, Unutzer J. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2006 Nov;33(6):718-29.
Project IMPACT is a collaborative care intervention to assist older adults suffering from major depressive disorder or dysthymia.

Pragmatic trials in primary care Methodological challenges and solutions demonstrated by the DIAMOND-study

Fransen GA, Van Marrewijk CJ, Mujakovic S, Muris JW, et al BMC Med Res Methodol. 2007 Apr 23;7(1):16 [Epub ahead of print]
This article discusses several methodological challenges in designing and conducting a pragmatic primary care based randomised controlled trial, based on experiences in the DIAMOND-study.

Knowledge Creation through University-Industry Collaborative Research Projects

Julie Hermans and Annick Castiaux Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 5 Issue 1, February 2007
This paper presents a literature analysis concerning the flow of knowledge between the private and academic sphere through the conduct of University-Industry relationships and explores one particular mean of inter-organizational knowledge transfer, namely the University-Industry collaborative research project. It presents findings from an exploratory study which aims at examining knowledge flows and collaborative behaviours at stake in such research projects. [Abstract précis by PHCRIS]

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New Reports

Mental health services in Australia 2004-05

AIHW catalogue number (HSE 47)
'Mental health services in Australia 2004-05' is the eighth in the series of AIHW's comprehensive annual reports on the characteristics and activity of Australia 's mental health services. Details from a wide range of data sources for the 2004-05 period are presented, as are changes over time. Information on mental health care provided by a range of services--including ambulatory services (such as community-based services, emergency departments, private psychiatrists and general practitioners), hospital and residential services, and other services (such as supported accommodation services)--is detailed. In addition, information is provided on mental health-related prescriptions, and mental health resources such as facilities, workforce and expenditure. Where possible, comprehensive data are provided for each state and territory, and comparisons are made between population groups (including Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and overseas-born and Australian-born people). This report is a useful resource for health planners, policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers and others with an interest in mental health in Australia.

Primary Health Care Strategy: Key Directions for the Information Environment

Primary Health Care Strategy: Key Directions for the Information Environment is a policy consultation document from New Zealand that facilitates consultation on a proposal to create an information environment that helps achieve the Primary Health Care Strategy goals.

The consultation document includes:

  • a description of the current needs in the health information environment as determined by preliminary public consultation and review of overseas activity
  • a description of actions that could be taken to create an improved information environment for all of primary health care
  • a description of specific components (a combination of people, processes and technology) that will enable actions to take place.

Submissions commenting on the document are invited.
Closing date: Friday 1 June 2007

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News Items

New Senior Appointments at NHMRC office for health and medical researchers

The CEO Prof. Warwick Anderson is seeking to further strengthen the NHMRC Office through the appointment of researchers in a number of leadership roles. This is in line with the recommendations of the Wills Review and the Grant Review, to 'increase the employment of research-literate staff' at the NHMRC, to bring the staff profile in line with comparable international bodies.
Applications are sought from researchers across all research approaches - biomedical, clinical, public health and health services research. Researchers with industry experience, and practitioner researchers are also encouraged to apply.
Details about the positions can be found at

Violence against medical practitioners

Health Report, Monday 30 April
Radio National Featuring a disturbing story about a doctor in Victoria who was murdered at work. We hear about the impact on family and the community and how doctors may change the way they run their practices.

Wanted: Good and innovative health services research in Australia and New Zealand

Good, quality health services research can often have a significant local impact long before it becomes more widely known. HSRAANZ is looking for information on recent and innovative health services research that is occurring in Australia and New Zealand. The idea is to provide a forum to highlight work that has recently been published (or submitted) or in a technical report. The important fact is that it is interesting and on a topic that you think your colleagues would value. It does not have to be your might be a colleagues, students or something that you have run across....but we also want to hear about what you are working on as well.
They are looking for research to highlight in the next newsletter. The piece should be: On a topic of interest to Australia/NZ health services researchers or conducted by a Australia/NZ health services researcher, a published piece of research or completed technical report, and Recently completed (e.g., within the past 12 months).
They will try to highlight as many as space allows. Your suggestions can be sent to Paul Brown at
Information received before 11th May will be included in the upcoming newsletter.

Research front and centre

David Cohen, The Australian Higher Education, 25 April 2007
While Australian universities are looking ahead to the implementation of the first cycle of the research quality framework, their counterparts across the Tasman are casting a glance in the other direction as a third year of academic life under a contentious research funding system looms in New Zealand.

Ranking system for journals

Bernard Lane, The Australian Higher Education 25 April 2007
A NEW method for ranking journals allows sensible comparisons of quality for the first time, according to its creators.

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Media Releases

$191.6m for improved care for patients with severe mental health conditions

AGPN Press Release
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Senator Brett Mason today announced $191.6 million over five years of Federal funding for specialist mental health nurses to assist existing service providers such as GPs to provide care for people with severe mental health disorders.
The announcement follows last week's release of the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing report (AIHW) Mental health services in Australia 2004-05, indicating nearly 11% of GP consultations relate to mental health.
View media release:

Bubs protected thanks to general practice

A report released last week stating that in the first year of the Childhood Pneumococcal Vaccination Program there was a 75 per cent reduction in Pneumococcal cases in children aged under two years old shows the ongoing success of the Federal Government's National Immunisation Program (NIP). This is largely attributable to general practices' commitment to immunisation, according to the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN).
View media release:

New mental health training for GPs delivered online

RACGP 26/04/2007
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is using its innovative online learning platform, to deliver new mental health education to general practitioners across Australia.
View media release:

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Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Media releases

$190m boost to mental health care

Patients with severe mental illnesses will receive extra support each year from specialist mental health nurses as a result of a $191 million, five-year Australian Government program launched on 30 April.
View media release:

New Healthy Active Ambassadors

World champion surfer Layne Beachley is one of seven current and former champions to have joined the Government's Healthy Active Ambassador Program.
View media release:

$3.4m boost to Tasmanian Home and Community Care

Frail older people, the younger disabled, and their carers will benefit from $41.9 million in funding delivered through 61 Tasmanian Home and Community Care (HACC) service providers.
View media release:

Gastroenteritis outbreak: Broughton Hall

The Government is continuing to monitor the situation at Broughton Hall very closely.
View media release:

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Workshop for Early Career Health Services Researchers

When: 5 June 2007
Where: University of Melbourne Seminar Room 515, School of Population Health
Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton Victoria 3053
The Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand  is a not for profit Association which provides a unique opportunity for communication between health services researchers and researchers and policymakers. The aims of the Association are to encourage and promote the development and conduct of health services research, in order to promote improved health services delivery and improved health. Late last year the HSRAANZ ran a very successful workshop at the University of Technology, Sydney for early career health services researchers.  The Sydney workshop was well received and feedback was very positive. 
A similar workshop will be held at the University of Melbourne on 5 June 2007. In the morning about half a dozen early career researchers/post graduate students will have the opportunity to present a component of their PhD/research/grant application to a group of their peers and to receive constructive feedback from senior academics in their field. In the afternoon experts will provide guidance on professional development, completing and supervising PhDs and fellowships and scholarships and there will be a panel discussion.  
The workshop is open to members and non members of the Association and will be of interest to students, emerging health researchers and their supervisors.  To avoid disappointment please contact Sarah Green immediately if you would like to attend.  

RACGP Annual Scientific Convention 2007

Closing date for submissions extended to 31 May
When: 4-7 October 2007
Where: Sydney Convention Centre
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners invites you to participate in the 50th Annual Scientific Convention 2007 by presenting short essays, innovative ideas and research findings addressing the convention theme 'Our patients, our communities, our profession'. Presenters are encouraged to consider how their topic relates to our discipline's 'past, present and future'.
More details:
Submission of Abstracts: 31 May 2007

Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) 4th annual conference

Online registration now open
Where: Toronto, Canada
When: 22-25 August 2007
The Board of Directors and Scientific Committee of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) invite you to register for the 4th Annual Conference in Toronto, 22-25 August 2007. The conference's theme is Collaboration in Guidelines. This conference will focus on guidelines in a changing society with increasing demands for transparency and efficiency.
Register online at:

Teaching and Research: making the connection in Health Sciences

When: 8-9 November 2007
Where Adelaide
The University of South Australia, Division of Health Sciences will be hosting a conference on 8 th -9 th November in Adelaide themed 'Teaching and Research: making the connection in Health Sciences. Key speakers at the conference include Professor Alan Jenkins (Alan Jenkins is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at Oxford Brookes University, Reinvention Fellow and Consultant on teaching/research links for the Higher Education Academy. With colleagues at Brookes he researched undergraduate and postgraduate views of staff research, and published Reshaping higher education: linking teaching and research. Related publications include Designing a Curriculum that values a research-based approach to student learning; Linking Research and Teaching in Departments; A Guide to the Research Evidence on Teaching Research Relations and Institutional Strategies to Link Teaching and Research).
Further information and registration details may be found at:

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Vacant Positions/Scholarships

Senior Research Fellow/ Research Fellow in Economic Evaluations/Health Economics

School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland
The Centre for Health Services Research in the School of Population Health , University of Auckland , is seeking a person with expertise in health economics/economic evaluations of the effectiveness of health initiatives. The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary team consisting of evaluators, health managers, health economists, applied behavioural scientists, and other disciplines relevant to public health and health services research. The School of Population Health has an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching, and there is strong interdisciplinary collaboration.
The salary is competitive and sufficient to ensure a high quality of life in Auckland.
This is a fixed term position for an initial term of one year funded by research contracts and grants. The position may be renewed depending on available funding. The review of applications will begin on 16 th May and continue until the position is filled. Additional information and a full job description can be obtained by contacting Dr Paul Brown ( Tel +64-9-373-7599 ext 85261).

Closing date approaching for general practice research grants

New and emerging general practice researchers are reminded to finalise their research questions for the 2007 round of RACGP Research Foundation grants. Applications for the grants close at 5pm Eastern Standard Time on 8 May 2007.
More information:

NHMRC announces call for 2008 NICS Fellowship applications

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), in partnership with key health organisations, is inviting applications for the 2008 NICS Fellowship Awards. If you're an early-to-mid career health professional with a commitment to improving health care in Australia through the use of best available evidence, They would like to hear from you. The NHMRC's NICS Fellowship Program, established in 2003, identifies and supports health professionals who are future leaders in evidence-based health care.
More information:

National Breast Cancer Foundation Scholarships and Fellowships

Applications for The Collaborative Breast Cancer Research Grant Program 2007 and for Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships are now open.
More information:

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Websites to Watch

Open Medicine

A group of Canadian doctors and editors is launching a new online medical journal that they say will be free from the influence of pharmaceutical companies. Open Medicine is an open-access journal that won't charge subscription fees or run advertisements for drugs or medical devices. The first issue goes live online on Wednesday. There is no print edition. The new journal aims to be as free as possible from financial conflicts of interest, Dr. Stephen Choi says. A group of former editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal and their colleagues founded the journal on two principles: open access and editorial independence.

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