The HSR Impact Award
This biennial award recognises health services research that has had a significant impact through translation into health policy, management, or clinical practice. We received seven very worthy nominations that that highlight the amazing real-world impact of health services research. The submissions covered a broad range of impacts and after the judges' votes had been cast, we had a tie between two very different pieces of HSR.
Our first joint winner is Dr Elizabeth Lynch and colleagues for a program of research around the implementation of the nationally recommended Assessment for Rehabilitation Tool. As part of a RCT, she identified that rehab needs were being made based primarily on the services available. Elizabeth’s subsequent engagement with stakeholders focused on supporting clinicians to use the tool to identify unmet needs, including a lead role in updating the stroke clinical guidelines with respect to the assessment of rehab needs.
Read Elizabeth's blog - Assessing and managing rehabilitation needs of people with stroke in Australia
Our second joint winner is Professor Tony Scott and his team involved in the development and maintenance of the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey which is Australia's national panel survey of 10,000 doctors that has been running for over 10 annual Waves. The specific application of the project that was cited in the submission was the use of MABEL data to develop the Modified Monash Model (MMM), a new geographic classification scheme to allocate funding to medical workforce programs in rural areas. The MMM was first used by the Department of Health in 2015, and is now applied to over 15 workforce programs that allocate over $1bn to support access to medical care rural areas in Australia.
Prof Anthony Scott - Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL).
Read Anthony's blog - Influencing policy through research: Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL)
Best Health Services and Policy Research Papers
These awards recognise the best scientific works in the field health services and policy research.
Overall and ECR Categories
Seven nominations were received for the overall best paper and eight for the ECR category. There were some very strong submissions and judging was tight. Research types included cost-effectiveness, outcomes research, meta-analysis, predictive modelling and qualitative research.
Overall Winner - Alison Pearce
Alison's winning paper estimates the years of productive life lost and assorted costs due to adult cancer deaths. The paper compares estimates for 5 developing countries and across cancer subtypes. The article impressed the judges in the scope of research undertaken and the value it will contribute to the research field, including its potential to guide local prevention and treatment strategies.
Pearce, AM, Sharp, L, Hanly, P, Barchuk, A, Bray, F, de Camargo Cancela, M, Gupta, P, Meheus, F, Qiao, YL, Sitas, F, Wang, SM & Soerjomataram, I 2018,
‘Productivity losses due to premature mortality from cancer in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS): A population-based comparison’, Cancer Epidemiology, vol. 53, pp. 27-34. Publisher's site
Read Alison's Blog - $46 billion in productivity lost to cancer in developing countries
Eleven papers were submitted for the PhD Student category and all were of a good standard. All except one was quantitative and several were analyses of large data sets. The winner was of the latter type and literally just pipped some of the other papers because it had good logical flow, clear concise language and clearly explained its relevance to policy and practice.
ECR Winner - Haitham Tuffaha
Haitham's paper presents a Markov model to estimate the long-term benefits and costs of testing women and their relatives with breast cancer who had at least a 10% probability of BRCA mutation. This work struck the judging panel as of high importance to guide expensive treatment decisions.
Tuffaha, Mitchell, Ward, Connelly, Butler, Norris, Scuffham
‘Cost-effectiveness analysis of germ-line BRCA testing in women with breast cancer and cascade testing in family members of mutation carriers’. Genet Med. 2018 Sep;20(9):985-994. doi: 10.1038/gim.2017.231. Epub 2018 Jan 4. Publisher’s Site
PhD Student Winner - Tim Badgery-Parker
As the name suggests, Tim's paper is an analysis of a large dataset to examine the use of 27 low-value care procedures in Australian public Hospitals. The procedures studies varied substantially and included some very well-known and some less well-known procedures and used the perspective of the health service provider. Tim’s results show 13 of the procedures had negligible low-value care, 7 showed a decreasing trend, 4 had no clear trend and 3 showed an increasing trend for low-value care. However, there was substantial variation between hospitals.
Badgery-Parker T, Pearson S, Chalmers K, et al
Low-value care in Australian public hospitals: prevalence and trends over time BMJ Qual Saf Published Online First: 06 August 2018. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2018-008338 Publishers Site
Read Tim's Blog - Measuring Low-Value Care
PhD Student-Highly Commended Johnathan Brett
Jonathan Brett, Helga Zoega, Nicholas Buckley, Benjamin Daniels, Adam Elshaug, Sallie-Anne Pearson
Choosing Wisely? Quantifying the extent of three low value psychotropic prescribing practices in Australia