Researchers at UniSA’s centre for Innovation, Implementation and Clinical Translation in Health (IIMPACT in Health) are calling for input to guide a series of events aimed at bringing relevant and recent health discoveries to regional Australian communities.
Almost a third of Australians live outside major metropolitan centres, and much of this population experiences inferior health outcomes across a wide range of areas.
Regional areas have higher rates of back pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, injury and suicide, alongside lower rates of health service use.
The longstanding shortage of rural GPs and allied health professionals, such as psychologists, means innovative, culturally appropriate methods for improving health and mental wellbeing are required in regional settings.
Addressing the metro-rural divide health is a key goal of IIMPACT in Health, a consumer focused centre led by world renowned researchers supported by a growing network of clinical, consumer and community partners, including UniSA’s Department of Rural Health.
The group is currently organising a Rural Outreach Tour, to be held in September with two health professional symposiums (Whyalla and Barossa) and five general community events (Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Clare, Barossa).
To guide these events, IIMPACT in Health has launched a public survey allowing regional South Australia residents to tell the researchers which healthcare areas and issues they would like to learn about in their region.
Professor Lorimer Moseley is leading the Tour project, and says the survey is for rural and regional health professionals of all disciplines, as well as for the general public.
“For the Tour to be successful, it is critical that have a clear understanding of the needs of the community, how they think we can best help, and how we can best develop ongoing relationships that will continue to improve health in these regions,” Prof Moseley says.
“The survey will collect some basic information such as postcode, whether a respondent is a health professional or community member, and then invite people to tell us what they need in terms of health education, skills training, information and support.”
The survey is available online until the end of May (full address below), and community members are encouraged to have their say to ensure the success of the Tour.
“We will use this to plan our Tour, and the survey will also provide opportunities for people to get involved and to be kept up to date,” Prof Moseley says.
Notes to editors – The IIMPACT in Health Rural Outreach Tour survey can be found at: https://research.unisa.edu.au/redcap/surveys/?s=CEP9HTNMRE