If you missed today’s webinar on the ‘Spatial Dimensions of Repeat Prescribing Safety in UK General Practice: An Ethnographic Study‘ here is another opportunity to listen and view the presentation by Dr Suzanne Grant, Social Anthropologist and Lecturer in Population Health Science at the University of Dundee. To view the recording, click here. Please share the presentation link with your colleagues. Send comments and queries directly to the presenter at s.m.grant@ dundee.ac.uk or to the SDHI team at sdhi@ dundee.ac.uk
SDHI contributed to an event on the 23 October in the Steeple Church in Dundee that brought together many community organisations, Dundee city council and academics from various disciplines departments. The purpose of the four hour meeting was to explore how the university can engage and work more closely with local community organisations (e.g. Sign Post; Hot Chocolate). The event was led and organised by Dr Fernando Fernandes, School of Nursing & Midwifery/SDHI who – in his introductory remarks – highlighted the role of Brazilian scholar, educator and social activist, Paulo Freire in guiding the vision for more participatory and collaborative work between the university and the communities of Dundee. The afternoon was organised around round table discussion and a World Café style exploration of the issues that matter to communities. Many organisations struggle with limited resources and had mixed experiences with past engagement with the university. There was a strong wish for a real, not a tokenistic or temporary commitment for a joint working relationship. Value was seen in having the university build local capacity (accredited short courses), support practice-based evaluations, develop important technologies that reduce the monitoring and reporting burden, contribute to the volunteering programme. Academic expertise may also provide the evidence for promising interventions, which in turn may make funding more sustainable. The role of local businesses in potentially contributing to programmes that seek to address inequalities in pragmatic ways was also discussed. The event was just opening the discussion between the interdisciplinary ‘Engagement and Participation’ group at the University of Dundee and the community.
A new publications by Taylor, Bradbury-Jones, Kroll and Duncan details the findings from a two-phase, qualitative study (initial findings were presented as an SDHI webinar) that was conducted with women who had domestic abuse experiences and health professionals in Scotland. Domestic abuse is a serious public health concern. However, little is known about health professionals’ beliefs about domestic abuse disclosure and how these interact with abused women’s experiences. Most research in this area has largely been a-theoretical. This study was theoretically informed by the Common Sense Model of Self-Regulation of Health and Illness (CSM), which typically has been used to study belief-behaviour interactions in disease-orientated research. Findings expose the dynamic interaction between women’s and health professionals’ beliefs about domestic abuse and their behaviour that affect the readiness to respond to it. The full paper abstract can be found here.
On the first day of the conference I reflected on the contrast between the life on the streets of San Francisco and the ‘protected’ and sealed off environment of the conference (how many homeless people got to attend and have a say?). Both so close and perhaps, even connected in content and practice but at the same time worlds apart. This impression stayed with me throughout my days here and was reinforced on the walk from and back to the hotel where a very heteregoneous community of the dispossessed desperately push for some visibility in this world of shiny displays of upmarket jewellery and fashion stores. They are kept outside in the doorways, park benches, gutters and may only find temporary access to the indoor world in a subway, parking garage or overnight shelter. They are shunned, made different, a line is drawn between them and us. Perhaps, the accelerated step when rushing past them, the averted glance, the raised voice to silence their request for a bit of hope in the form of money – perhaps, all this is just our way of maintaining the divide between them and us so that we do not have to confront the reality that they at one point also played a role on our side of the fence. And that our life path could catapult us very quickly into ‘their world’. Now why am I writing this? The point is that we are taking this dividing line into our research. Most public health or other health-related research is still ABOUT people and populations. It is not conducted WITH people who are the immediate stakeholders. Participants in studies are still relegated to being ‘subjects’ in academically pre-conceived studies that seek to fill a gap in the segregated world of evidence-based practice. The number of truly emancipatory and participatory action research projects is ridiculously small. And this approach is frowned upon by many traditional empiricists and frequently rejected as unscientific as the population, the intended outcomes, and the intervention processes may change in the context of the study. BUT, this type of ‘research’ produces immediate change that is driven by the community as the principal stakeholder. It is a research WITH, not ABOUT. To be fair there may have been brilliant examples – and I know there indeed have been – of this way of working at the APHA conference but I would still maintain that very few community representatives could afford participation at the conference. We need more ‘WITH’ in our applied health and social research. There is so much to gain: greater ecological and external validity, buy-in and support of the research from Day 1, more rapid change, fulfilment of human rights on inclusion and the dismantling of the socially constructed fence between ‘them’ and ‘us’.
The Centre for Medical Education are hosting a seminar presented by Professor Huw Davies (University of St Andrews and Co-Director of SDHI) on Wednesday 26th September at 1pm in Tay Park House, 484 Perth Road Dundee.
This seminar is aimed at helping us better understand the relationships between knowledge created from – or informed by – research, and its subsequent use, influence and impact. How to maximise knowledge ‘translation’ from research.
For further information please see flyer CMDN Seminar Huw Davies 26 Sept 2012