Providing Health Care to Diverse Communities in Brazil Recorded Lifestream

Camila Biazus Dalcin, a final year nursing student from the Franciscan University Centre (UNIFRA) who visits Dundee as a scholar in the Brazilian ‘Science Without Borders’ Programme (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ) presented a seminar on the 27th June. In her presentation she focused on nursing education and community development and research work in socially and economically diverse communities. Brazil is undergoing profound changes, economically, politically and socially. In 1988 a new healthcare system ‘Unified Health System’ or SUS was formed on the basis of the Brazilian constitution. The new system aims to provide fair and equitable health care to all citizens and introduces a shift in emphasis from treatment towards prevention. Health and wellbeing are regarded as community, not individual issues. The focus on delivering care in the community requires involving the population in the health promotion and is supported by a diverse group of health professionals.

The presentation was also a trial run of SDHI’s new lifestream (‘SDHI TV’). A sequence of the presentation is available here as a recording provided by UStream. For a better quality recording, please stay tuned, we are working on it.

First day of SDHI conference ‘Making Healthcare Safer: Learning from Social and Organisational Research’ produced stimulating debates

The first day of the two day conference held in St Andrews by SDHI in collaboration with NHS Education for Scotland, the Health Foundation and the Scottish Patient Safety Research Network was attended by around 80 academic researchers, health professionals, and policy makers. The format of the conference combines plenary addresses, breakout sessions, poster displays and informal networking opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere and environment at St Andrews University. In his keynote, Dr Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands highlighted the tension between standardisation in guideline development and guideline based practice on the one hand, and the need to tailor care and interventions in a flexible manner. He suggested that it may be time to move away from a simple dichotomy between individual vs universal towards a ‘situated concept of standardisation’. Not one size fits all but a sensitivity towards context factors that may influence the delivery and success of intervention practices. Dr Brian Robson, Executive Clinical Director at Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Quality Improvement Fellow of the Health Foundation highlighted the wide-ranging successes in patient safety and care improvement in Scotland. The adoption and tailored implementation of the Breakthrough Series Quality Improvement Methodology has underpinned these profound developments. The morning concluded with poster displays of presenters from around the UK and Canada. Delegates had ample opportunities to discuss the quality improvement interventions and research findings. One of the breakout sessions in the afternoon focused on how health professionals conceptualise and communicate risk. Another highlighted a Patient Safety initiative in the NHS Grampian health board, while a third session included two presentations on organisational infrastructure and culture and their influences on patient safety.
The last plenary presentation of the day by Professor Brendan McCormack focused on the need for transformational learning as a key facet of organisational change and practice development. A fundamentally different approach to learning is required to create a creative, dynamic and truly person-centred care approach.


Mini Symposium ‘Health and Cultural Context’ in St Andrews

Last week a mini-symposium hosted by Dr Gozde Ozakinci, University of St Andrews and Dr Nick Hopkins, University of Dundee brought together a group of interdisciplinary researchers to reflect on the importance of cultural context for health. You can find more details on the event here.

Listen to and watch our latest Webinar here: Disability and Public Health: Unlikely but Emerging Partner

Professor Don Lollar highlighted current developments at the intersection of public health, social policy and disability research in his Webinar presentation yesterday. If you did not get a chance to listen to the presentation, you can view his slides here.

A recording of the presentation is available to view below

Upcoming SDHI Webinar: Disability and Public Health

Please join us for us for a Webinar on this Thursday, 21 June at 5pm GMT. All you need is access to the internet. To get an access code please sign up with

Fred Comerford (fac1 or Rosanne Bell (r.c.bell

Disability is usually framed as the third of three negative public health outcomes, alongside mortality and morbidity. We will discuss how this initial background still affects the public health enterprise’s approach to disability and people living with disabling conditions. Public health functions will frame the presentation, beginning with case definitions, a crucial element in public health surveillance. We will then discuss policy development, examining how policy interacts with assessment and assurance functions. Finally, the issues of environment and its effect on assurance of public health services will be discussed along with implications for greater sensitivity, awareness, and inclusion of people with disabilities in public health activities. Current examples in US public health will be provided and students will be encouraged to provide examples from Scotland.

Dr Don Lollar assumed the position of Director, OHSU University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Associate Director of CDRC for Academic Affairs in January 2010. He also has a faculty appointment in OHSU’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He is a internationally recognized expert in the areas of disability and health— particularly in the prevention of secondary conditions and health promotion, and the development and implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). He was a practicing psychologist for 25 years in states of Maine, Kentucky, and Georgia before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA.

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Public and professional consultation: Project seeks input into refinement of reference guide for health professionals

A few weeks’ ago we reported in a Webinar by Dr Karen Ritchie and Deepa Jahagirdar (if you missed it, you can find the link to the recording on our blog) about a project between the universities of Glasgow and Dundee and Healthcare Improvement Scotland that examines the usability and accessibility of patient-reported outcome measures or PROMS for people with learning disabilities and low literacy. The research has led to the development of a reference manual or user guide, which is intended for health professionals who are tasked with PROM measurement in clinical practice and who may have to reflect on the practice of using PROMS with people with learning disabilities or low literacy.

Please assist us with comments about our new reference user guide for health professionals. The purpose of the reference guide is to highlight challenges in routine outcome measurement when working with people with low literacy and/or learning disabilities. Tell us, what you think. Will the guide be useful? How can we improve it? What will enhance its usefulness and adoption by health professionals?

  • What are your first impressions?
  • What do think about the format/presentation of the guide?
  • What about the content? Is it relevant?
  • Is the language we use in the guide appropriate?
  • Is the document comprehensive enough or is anything missing?
  • Is the guide accurate and correct?
  • How could you use it in practice?
  • Is there anything else you want to let us know about?

You can also find a pdf version of the PROMS Use Reference Guide Low Literacy and Learning Disability. Please review the reference guide below and send your comments by email to Deepa.Jahagirdar

Webinar: Beliefs about Domestic Abuse and Disclosure To be Rescheduled

SDHI apologises for the technical problems encountered at today’s webinar. We will reschedule the Webinar with the two speakers for a later date. We have been working with the provider of the webinar technology to identify the problem and will ensure that the issue will be resolved.

Webinar: Beliefs about Domestic Abuse and Disclosure: Still time to sign up

There is still time to sign up for the upcoming SDHI Webinar on the 11th June, entitled ‘Health professionals’ beliefs about domestic abuse and the issue of disclosure’. The Webinar is free and will start at 9am (UK). Please contact us at

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Geographer gives expert evidence to international panel

Dr Ed Hall, a lecturer in the Geography department at the University of Dundee and Associate Director of SDHI, has been giving evidence as an expert witness to a panel of world-leading academics reviewing the impact of geography research in the UK.

He was speaking at the Royal Geographic Society in London, where the Economic and Social Research Council have been holding an event as part of the International Benchmarking Review of UK Human Geography.

The high-profile review aims to highlight the standing and contribution of UK human geography against international benchmarks. It aims to identify ways of enhancing performance and capacity, and promoting future research agendas. The review will make recommendations for the Research Councils, funding organisations and, more broadly, for the discipline.

“I was very pleased to be asked to provide evidence to the panel,” said Dr Hall. “It is a fantastic opportunity to tell leading international academics, and others with a keen interest in geographical research, about the theoretical, methodological and research impact contributions that UK Human Geography makes to the development of the discipline.
“I will also take the opportunity to tell the panel about the groundbreaking research we do in Geography at Dundee, on children and youth, policing and crime, and disability and volunteering. Geography at Dundee was ranked joint top in Scotland in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, clear evidence of our research quality.”

Dr Hall is a social geographer, with research interests in health, disability and social inclusion. He publishes widely in international peer-reviewed journals, most recently in ‘Geoforum’. His research is funded by ESRC, Scottish Government and Nuffield Foundation.

The International Benchmarking Review process is being undertaken by a panel of leading international experts, chaired by Professor David Ley, University of British Columbia, Canada, and includes academics, research funders, and users of human geography research.

‘Wasteland’ – Short Film Premiere

'Wasteland - Short film by Lisa Nicoll'

STV has reported on Lisa Nicoll’s film. For details, click here.

Wasteland is a short film written & directed by Lisa Nicoll. It is based on research carried out with teenagers in the Coatbridge Locality. Over a series of 7 weeks Lisa gained stories about what it is like to live in the area as a teenager, she then brought all the stories together and wrote the short drama script Wasteland.

The film is set one year after the death of 16 year old Amy and shows how a group of teenagers come together to commemorate the anniversary.

Wasteland explores how the friends have coped with Amy’s death and how best friend Nicole cannot let go of blaming herself for what happened.

Fostered Nicole is set into further turmoil as her sister Danni is due to go back to her birth mother on the same day, a mother who has constantly let them both down due to her addictions.

Nicole begins to wonder what she has left in her life. Will her mother let Danni down again? Can Nicole let go of her blame? If she disappeared would everyone else be better off….?

The teenagers who provided the research also act in the film alongside two professional actors Louise Ludgate and Laura Harvey.

This film is funded & supported by Health Improvement Team Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire ADP, North Lanarkshire NHS. Music for the sound track is supplied by Reeltime Music.

For further information or to attend the screening please email anila.ansari or visit Lisa Nicoll’s website.

The Scotsman about Daisies.

“ The quality of Nicoll’s writing is striking, simple and emotional without cliché, and with moments of unobtrusive poetry. ”


A One Woman Play written & performed by Lisa Nicoll

4 Stars ****

“….. a clever piece of writing and a heart-tugging story consummately performed; it’s everything one-woman theatre can, and should be.” Three Weeks Publication Edinburgh Festival 2008.