The Sixth Annual PCRN Symposium took place on 4th October in Dublin and was opened by Minister for Health Simon Harris who spoke about “how the Institute is an example of how by working together and sharing resources on this island we can deliver evidence-based palliative care research that ensures inclusivity and accountability for people with life limiting conditions and their families”.
The Symposium’s focus this year was on collaborative, strategic and interdisciplinary palliative care research. The day provided valuable insights on the strategy for funding health care research on the island of Ireland; with presentations from Dr. Maireád O’Driscoll, interim head of the Health Research Board (HRB) in the Republic of Ireland and from Professor Ian Young, Director of Health and Social Care R&D in Northern Ireland.
PCRN members, Professor Sonja McIlfatrick and Associate Professor Suzanne Guerin provided a strategic overview of palliative care research and implications for researchers. This included the current state of palliative care research on the island and a strategic overview of knowledge transfer and exchange in palliative care research projects.
We were delighted to also provide a highlight of the work of the PCRN researchers, on HRB funded projects that have provided evidence-based research in the areas of social justice, inclusivity and accountability. This was introduced by the Primary Investigators on the projects, Professor Phil Larkin and Professor Charles Normand. This included a video montage of 8 senior and early career researchers from the island speaking about their research work who covered research ranging from implications for palliative care for people with serious mental illness, intellectual disability, dementia, advanced heart failure and children with non-malignant life limiting conditions; people’s preferences for palliative care services; testing procedure for cognitive and mood disturbances for palliative care;and interventions for people who experience loss of appetite and change in appearance at last stages of life. As well as AIIHPC funded project on the EMTReK model for palliative care research knowledge dissemination.
The key note presentation was by Professor David Clark, from University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies and End of Life Studies Group. He spoke about the challenges in interdisciplinary research thinking about acknowledging and working within different theoretical frameworks; and the benefits specifically around working collaboratively to make impactful change were much larger funding grants can be achieved than individually. He stressed the importance of always making room in your day for people who want to talk about your research work as you never know where that will lead, in one example to the research project on Death in America to transform the culture of dying, a million dollar investment in this research and led to extensive service development and innovation.
Watch all the presentations and talks from the PCRN Symposium 2017: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLd_maP4B2N3GpZ61vCLFKXRmFqm260H7r