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Title: Undertaking research across regional Victoria during COVID: Exploring the incidence and severity of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).
Author: Cutts, B.
Phongpagdi, P.
Wheelahan, Sarah
Morgan, R.
Paterson, Cara
Gales, E.
Chen, S.
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: To collaborate with health services across the Barwon South West and Grampians Regions to complete an Australian-first comprehensive analysis of the incidence and severity of GBS across geographical areas. Population/setting: Initial investigation was into those that had presented to Barwon Health from 2009-2019. After analysis revealed differences in severity and incidence compared with published Australian data the project was expanded in order to compare the Grampians Region with Barwon South West. Methods: The initial Barwon Health data was collected by retrospective file review using routinely collected clinical data. The results of this project were then presented to the Physiotherapy Department Managers at South West Healthcare, Wimmera Health, Ballarat Health Services and Epworth Geelong. These health services were chosen as the most likely to have cared for GBS patients given access to specialty Neurology and Neurosciences as well as critical care capabilities. Collaboration with other health services was completed using email and video-conferencing software. Results: We have so far identified 127 people across the two regions with GBS: 98 from the Barwon South West Region and 29 from the Grampians Region with data capture not complete at all health services and analysis ongoing. Barriers to collaborative research included COVID-related redeployments and increases in clinical services demand, and pauses in research ethics approval processes. Facilitators included interest in the research question and support in completing the ethics application and audit processes. Conclusion: Once complete this will be the first complete analysis of a geographic region of Australia and allow accurate calculation of the incidence of GBS. Translational impact/implications for future practice: This project shows that non-funded collaborative research can work well across regional areas, however time frames are difficult to control. We are expecting analysis of our data to show an increase in the incidence and severity of GBS in the Barwon South West Region, which will inform education and training for clinicians in higher presentation areas. Future research should be undertaken to identify causative factors behind this in an effort to reduce the burden of disability from GBS.
Internal ID Number: 02041
Type: Conference
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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