Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

HRB ‘A Picture of Health’ report features RCSI research

06 December 2012
Research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has been highlighted in the latest edition of the Health Research Board (HRB)'s ‘Picture of Health' 2012 report. This annual publication provides information, in non-technical language, on recent and exciting developments arising from Irish health research funded by the HRB. Research featured includes projects that seek to improve patient care, search for better treatments and innovate in health policy and practice.

This new report shows the progress that is being made in health research, including how supplying defibrillators in GP surgeries would save hundreds of lives annually; a link between the prescription of antibiotics and an increased risk of antibiotic resistance; and research on identifying ‘hot spots' for collisions on major Irish roads.
The stories illustrate that Irish health research is making an impact locally and globally. Some RCSI research examples include:
Peer Support in Diabetes - Does it Really Work?
A randomised controlled trial, involving almost 400 patients from 20 practices over the course of two years, found that peer support in diabetes had limited impact on clinical symptoms of diabetes, such as blood sugar control, blood pressure or cholesterol.

The study, led by Prof Susan Smith, Associate Professor of General Practice at RCSI, involved organising meetings every three months where people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes could come and talk about different aspects of their condition. The research identified a need to tackle multiple chronic conditions in patients with diabetes.
Establishing Standards for the Quality of Primary Care
The HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, a collaboration between RCSI, Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University Belfast that seeks to further improve the standard of primary care in Ireland, presented research that analysed the potentially inappropriate medication management in vulnerable groups in Ireland (e.g. the elderly, pregnant women and children).

The Centre for Primary Care Research has developed a suite of decision-support tools, that could be rolled out to physicians in Ireland and abroad, which will help diagnosis and prescribing in primary care.
The research, whose principal investigator is Prof Tom Fahey, Department of General Practice, RCSI, led to the establishment of the Irish Primary Care Research Network. This network seeks to assess and provide comparative clinical data that enable health professionals to enhance the quality of care they provide to their patients.


On the publication of the 2012 Picture of Health report, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB, said:
‘The government's continued investment in research must be recognised as a vital step to encourage innovation and help reinvigorate the economy. Researchers must see this investment as a vote of confidence in their ability to deliver change and embrace the opportunity to continue to demonstrate that the work that they do has real impact.
In the past few years, the HRB has taken a strategic decision to focus our funding on research that has a positive impact on people's health, patient care and the health service. The outcomes highlighted in this report show the difference our funded researchers are making in these areas.'