Weekly update

Call for Abstracts
Call for Abstracts Reminder: SPHeRE Network 3rd Annual Conference SUPPORTING SOLUTIONS: Connecting Research, Policy & Practice, RCSI, Thursday, 12th January, 2017. Abstract submission closes on 24th of October. For more information on the 2017 SPHeRE Conference click here.

Computational and Molecular Biology PhD symposium: The organising committee for the 7th annual Computational and Molecular Biology PhD symposium is pleased to announce that abstract submission is now open for poster and oral presentations. The symposium will be held in the Conway Institute, University College Dublin on the 1st and 2nd of December 2016. The aims of the symposium are to highlight recent advances in computational biology and bioinformatics, and to promote the professional and scientific development of students from a diverse range of fields within computational and molecular biology. Abstract submission will be open until the 30th of October and can be submitted here. Registration will be open until the 20th of November. For additional information, including full details of the seven keynote speakers, please visit this website.

National Health Services Research Institute Research Day: The National Health Services Research Institute – which is a development within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health – is inviting people to attend the “National Health Services Research Institute Research Day”, on Thursday, 10th November 2016 from 9.00am to 5.30pm, co-hosted by the NHSRI and UCC’s College of Medicine and Health. The overarching theme of the research day is Health Services Research. There will be three thematic sessions, each including a keynote address by either a nationally or internationally acclaimed speaker, followed by three presentations by early stage researchers. Further information on the event is available here.

Behavioural Science – Making a difference: First announcement of the joint annual conference of Division of Health Psychology, Psychological Society of Ireland and Division of Health Psychology, British Psychological Society, Northern Ireland Branch which will take place in RCSI on 3rd March 2017. The aim of this conference is to promote high quality research at the interface of psychology, health and medicine, as well as to facilitate social and professional networks among people working in this area. The conference theme is ‘Behavioural Science – making a difference’, and will be of interest to a variety of health professionals, health services and public health researchers, as well as psychologists. Further information is available here.

Annual Clinical Trial Methodology Symposium: The HRB Trials Methodology Research Network will be holding this event in association with the HRB Clinical Research Facility Cork (HRB-CRF-C) on October 24th and 25th in the Kingsley Hotel, Cork.  There are a limited number of tickets available. For further schedule information and to register click here.
PHHSR Resources

Whose quality of life? A comparison of measures of self-determination and emotional well-being in research with older adults with and without intellectual disability.  Background Measures of quality of life (QOL) must be appropriate for specific groups but comparable across groups. In this paper programme alumni Eithne Sexton and Mary-Ann O’Donovan with fellow authors Niamh Mulryan, Philip McCallion and Mary McCarron compared how QOL is measured in research with older adults with and without an intellectual disability (ID). The abstract is available here.

Women’s ability to remember a list of words or a story could be stopping them from being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease: this is according to new research. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have found that although deterioration may be similar for both sexes, females generally do better in memory tests, which could result in a delay in diagnosis. There is currently no dementia registry in Ireland, despite the disease affecting 55,000 people here. A fact which Tina Leonard of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland says is hindering research in the area. The abstract of this recent article in Neurology is available here.

Exercising hard when you’re stressed makes you three times more likely to have a heart attack: Engaging in strenuous exercise when you’re very stressed makes you three times more likely to have a heart attack, according to new research. The study, which was led by scientists at NUI Galway, laid bare the extent to which stress can bring about heart problems. It found that the risk of a heart attack is more than doubled in the hour after becoming angry or emotionally upset.  To read more click here.

Public Healthcare Entitlements & Healthcare Utilisation among Older Population (IRL):  The use of direct out-of-pocket payments to finance general practitioner (GP) care by the majority of the population in Ireland is unusual in a European context. Currently, approximately 40% of the population have means-tested access to free GP care, while the remainder must pay the full out-of-pocket cost. In this paper, the data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is used to examine the impact of the current system of public healthcare entitlements on GP utilisation among the older population. The results have direct implications for current Irish health policy, and add to the international literature on the effects of insurance on healthcare utilisation. To read more click here.
Why It’s Hard to Measure Improved Population Health: Ambitious programmes to improve the U.S. health care system typically include improving population health in their objectives. For example, that is one of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aims” (along with improving the patient experience and lowering the per capita cost of care). Similarly, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to improve population health in multiple ways, the most obvious being improved access to care. One of the great challenges in these efforts lies in how to measure success.  Most discussions about measuring outcomes focus on the group as a whole and neglect distribution.  Sandra Galea in the Harvard Business Review explores how by measuring overall population health, we can almost certainly improve it by focusing on low-hanging fruit — improving the health of groups that are easily accessible and most amenable to changing their behaviour. To read the full article click here.