NUI Galway Awarded € 3 Million to Lead EU Community Engaged Research Project

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dr. Anne MacFarlane, lecturer in Primary Care in the Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth € 3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as RESTORE (REsearch into implementation STrategies to support patients of different ORigins and language background in a variety of European primary care settings).

Dr. MacFarlane explains why this research is so important, “In Ireland and other parts of Europe, service users from migrant communities who have limited English and their general practitioners face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations together because they do not have a shared language or cultural background. This results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns which is distressing and frustrating for all concerned. RESTORE focuses on implementing evidence-based solutions to this problem in primary care consultations.”

RESTORE is being funded under the EU-FP7 Health -2010 Theme which focuses on better understanding of dissemination and implementation strategies and aims to address ’gaps’ in the translation of research evidence into day-to-day clinical settings. The RESTORE consortium includes partners from Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Austria and Greece, countries which have different patterns of migration and a range of experiences of intercultural health policy and service development. This means that the scope for transnational learning and development is very significant.

For RESTORE, each partner will develop academic-community partnerships and will use Participatory Learning & Action (PLA) research methods, making RESTORE a very innovative primary care research project nationally and internationally. Mary O’Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, co-founders and directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway, were instrumental in the co-design and development of the proposal and are now involved as Senior Researchers in the Discipline of General Practice for the RESTORE project. “As cultural anthropologists, who specialise in PLA approaches and techniques for academic-community based research, we are excited by the prospect of exploring, with our European partners, the application of PLA across culturally-diverse research settings; a participatory approach is capable of giving service users from migrant communities a genuine voice alongside other key stakeholders in the assessment of implementation strategies to support communication in cross-cultural consultations.”

Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said, “NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Dr. Anne MacFarlane. It is an affirmation of the quality of community engaged research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to academic-community partnerships for research and development projects.”

Welcoming this funding success, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said, "This is a very significant funding development for NUI Galway and it highlights the quality of research being conducted at the University in the areas of general practice, clinical care, health policy and promotion. I congratulate Dr MacFarlane and her team on their success to date and look forward to the outcomes of this project."

For further information please contact Dr. MacFarlane on 091 495194

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