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2007 GP & PHC Research Conference

PHCRIS Infonet, Volume 11, Issue 6, August 2007, ISBN 1832 620X


Ellen McIntyre & Sheri Millar, PHCRIS

Alive but unhurried

Combining knowledge acquisition and exposure to current themes in Australian primary care with a good time!

Delegates came from around Australia and overseas to participate in the 2007 GP & PHC Research Conference. With over 140 speakers and more than 60 posters, there was much to be presented and discussed on the theme of Working together.

Online evaluations were submitted by 195 of the 381 delegates, giving a response rate of 51%. Delegates who submitted an evaluation were primarily academics and researchers and most worked at universities.

Key points from the pre-conference workshops:

  • six pre-conference workshops were held
  • 46% attended a pre-conference workshop
  • 92% rated that their expectations of the workshop as fully or partly met
  • 93% rated the workshop as providing them with a considerable or moderate understanding of the topic
  • 92% rated the workshop as being considerably or moderately relevant to their working needs
  • 81% rated the workshop content as excellent or good quality
  • 83% rated the quality of workshop presentations as excellent or good
  • 66% rated the value of handouts as excellent or good.

Key points from the conference:

  • 79% rated plenary speakers as excellent or good
  • 71% rated plenary sessions as excellent or good forums for knowledge exchange
  • 86% rated concurrent paper sessions as excellent or good forums for knowledge exchange
  • 77% rated research poster sessions as excellent or good forums for knowledge exchange
  • 91% rated the conference as an excellent or good forum for networking
  • 82% rated networking as important to a great or moderate extent.

Respondents indicated that there were many presentations to choose from. They were pleased to note that presentations were available on the PHCRIS website soon after the conference.

Networking was a key feature of the conference for many respondents. They appreciated the many opportunities the conference provided to enable networking to meet new people, catch up with those you know, discuss potential future projects and obtain feedback from peers.

Encouragement, support and opportunities were terms often used to describe what was good about the conference. "I was revitalised"


GP & PHC Research Conference - First time attendees

Jodie Hillen

The GP & PHC research conference is the first non pharmacy/medicines conference I have attended. I was impressed by the depth and breadth of research being undertaken in Australian primary health care. In particular I enjoyed the facilitated panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon, the Friday morning paper session on research in ‘Managing Chronic Disease' and the early morning workshop Applied Health Informatics.

I was struck by the number of times delegates commented that they had never thought of pharmacy as primary health care. During the several paper sessions I attended it became evident that the pharmacy profession was not included in the primary health care strategies/research being presented at this conference.

Pharmacists have a significant contribution to make to primary health care research and managed care programs. For example, pharmacists can play a role in the education and assessment of inhaler technique in asthma/COPD as well as in the management of multiple medicines for patients with co-morbidities.

Research has been and is being undertaken involving pharmacists in these types of programs. The absence of pharmacy or medicines-related research at the 2007 Conference presents a wonderful opportunity for collaboration with pharmacy/quality use of medicines researchers for 2008 and onwards.

Attending the GP & PHC Research Conference as a Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Strategy (PHCRED) Research and Development Program (RDP) Fellow was a thoroughly enjoyable experience from both an educational and social perspective. I would like to thank PHCRED for the opportunity.

Jodie Hillen, Pharmacist
RDP Fellow, Flinders University

Tamara Ford

I attended the 2007 GP & PHC Research Conference at the Convention Centre Sydney and the experience proved to be highly valuable. Research was not an area I previously thought I would be involved with but as the presentations unfolded I began to change my views.

Passionate about rural health I was delighted to hear speaker after speaker detail the programs they were working on within rural and remote communities. From the presentations I took note of a few key points that have changed my way of looking at some current health issues. They are as follows:

  1. Holistic care of the patient is currently encumbered by disease specific funding. That is, there is much consideration given to the key disease states, such as diabetes, without funding to cover the co morbidities and social aspects that contribute to the holistic experience of the patient.
  2. The type of opening sequence can define the consultation agenda e.g. New problem - What can I do for you today?
    Ongoing problem - How are you? This is important to consider to avoid leading a consultation down a path not originally intended by the patient, leading to inadequate use of time and/or patient dissatisfaction with the consultation.
  3. Nothing about us, without us an expression which must be heeded and applied to the decision making process in regards to health policy. The community needs to be made a part of the process for it to be truly effective and appropriate.

As these few points demonstrate the topics and issues discussed were as varied as the delegates themselves. Thank you for the opportunity to attend the Conference.

Tamara Ford, 3rd year MBBS Student
Rural Clinical School, Monash University

Michelle Carr Swift

As a first time delegate, the large range of interesting presentations at the GP & PHC Research Conference in Sydney, and the Writing for Change workshop, encouraged me to write up my Honours project from three years ago. Having done a qualitative Honours project when it was relatively rare in health fields outside of social work and nursing, I really enjoyed listening to the qualitative studies that are currently taking place.

One that impacted on me particularly was Danielle Williams' presentation Learning not to listen - overweight and obese women talk about their experience of general practice. Not only was the subject matter passionately presented but it challenged me to examine some of the assumptions I make when overweight or obese mothers bring their children into my speech pathology clinic. I think it is very important to look at one's professional values regularly or it's easy to become jaded, lose empathy and deliver sub-optimal care.

Another presentation that I found particularly clinically relevant was Raymond Jones' Fighting disease with fruit . Until the beginning of this year I have worked as a Speech Pathologist in northern South Australia including with two remote Aboriginal Communities.

The extent of otitis media in these children and the subsequent impact on their hearing and speech and language development is very real. It is very exciting that providing fruit to these children could have such amazing results in reducing otitis media. I have already provided a copy of the presentation to my former colleagues and hope that this information will benefit the communities I used to service.

Michelle Carr Swift, Speech Pathologist
RDP Fellow, Flinders University

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