Twenty-five people attended the research translation webinar on Wednesday 5 May 2021 organised by the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, UNSW in collaboration with Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network (CESPHN).

The workshop chair, Professor Mark Harris, Executive Director, CPHCE stated that the main purpose of the day was to share our latest research findings on predictors of service use in people over 75 years of age, explore ways to maximise use of the these and other research findings to improve policy and practice. He also stated that the webinar provided a great opportunity for participants to explore issues, successes, gaps and opportunities to improve integration and coordination of care between health, GPs, specialists and community.

The Webinar included two presentations followed by small groups discussions. A/Prof Margo Barr (research leader) summarised the latest findings from the research of health service use in people over 75 years using the CES Primary and Community Health Linkage Resource (CES-P&CH). She stated that frequent service use, even when adjusted by other demographic and health factors was a predictor of higher mortality over an 8-year period. Predictors of frequent services use across multiple services included having had a fall in the past 12 months, ever having CVD and being an ex-smoker. The guest research translation speaker was Dr Stephanie Ward from Prince of Wales Hospital and expert geriatrician for the ABC’s TV series, Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds. Dr Ward provided an inspirational presentation on the highlights and challenges of translating evidence to practice and the physical and mental benefits of bringing together the young and old. 

Participants then moved into ‘breakout rooms’ where they reflected on the presentations and how they could use evidence to improve health and wellbeing for people aged over 75 years.

Some of the key points from the small group conversations were as follows:

  • The findings encouragingly overlap with the new risk of hospitalisation algorithms in the patient flow portals and integration of health.
  • We should be communicating these findings with cardiac health professionals and thinking systematically about what health and related support services people over 75 years need.
  • The presentations raised the point of how we create and use research and doing the research isn’t enough to improve health, it needs to be translated to practice.
  • Creativity and social interaction leading to better health outcomes were encouraging in the intergenerational research.
  • It raised the question of what the flow on effects may be; greater use of social prescribing could be revisited.
  • Reducing falls is a major driver for reducing hospitalisations but not as great a focus for general practice, which indicates that we need to spend more effort making GPs more aware and linking GPs into falls prevention and falls response programs.

Prof Harris ended the session by highlighted the value of having forums that bring together academics, clinicians and policy makers where there are shared areas of interest which are areas of importance. He also thanked everyone for attending and hoped that we would be able to hold the next Forum face-to-face.

Please see links below for the presentations, program and summary report: