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Title: Research done with us, not on us: A case report of rural health service leaders codesigning research addressing an emerging health issue.
Author: Field, M.
Buccheri, A.
King, O.
Bishop, J.
Wong Shee, Anna
Imran, D.
Jacobs, J.
Versace, V.
Isaacs, A.
Sutton, K.
Sourlos, N.
Murphy, F.
Kennelly, M.
Wood, E.
Alston, L.
Issue Date: 2022
Conference Name: Western Alliance Seventh Annual Symposium 2022: Reconnecting through rural and regional research
Conference Date: November 21-22
Conference Place: Dunkeld, Vic.
Abstract: Background/aim: The challenges facing rural health services are unique and the important role of health service leaders in the research response is increasingly recognised. Despite this, there is a relative paucity of research co-designed with rural health services, and poorly-designed research can contribute to research waste through reduced applicability of results to rural communities. This case study aims to describe how meaningful co-design between rural health service leaders and a health service-embedded research unit can identify emerging research priorities and optimise translation. Population/setting: In early 2020, leaders at a rural Victorian health service approached the embedded health service research unit to request research be conducted on an emerging issue: rural staff wellbeing in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. This was based on the health service leader’s concern regarding lack of available evidence to inform organisational policy regarding this issue. Methods: In collaboration with the rural health service executive, a translation-focussed, mixed-methods, repeat cross-sectional study into rural health staff wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic was developed. Nine rural Victorian public sector health services, including an air medical service, joined as partner organisations and recruitment sites. Two of Victoria’s four University Departments of Rural Health joined as project partner organisations. Additional key co-design activities of the project included involving research end-users as study investigators and conducting formal stakeholder engagement regarding study design and outcomes. Results: Several elements of co-designing research with rural health services proved beneficial in the current study: pre-existing relationships between rural health service-embedded researchers and health service leaders allowed for rapid identification of a local health issue; involving research end-users as study investigators resulted in them acting as local study champions for participant recruitment; and formal stakeholder engagement optimised the utility and local policy relevance of planned translation activities. Conclusion: Meaningful co-design of research with rural health services is a multi-faceted process that can assist researchers and end-users alike in identifying and responding to emerging health issues. Translational impact/implications for future practice: In the rural setting where there is a vital need for impactful health research, it is recommended that researchers consider employing co-design processes in order to minimise research waste and optimise translatability of research findings.
Internal ID Number: 02042
Type: Conference
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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