News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Funding for innovative health research

Funding for innovative health research

Three Massey University researchers have been awarded a combined $450,000 to explore poverty and nutrition, tobacco dependence and performance measurement frameworks for health care.

Dr Geoffrey Kira and Dr Penelope Truman of the School of Public Health and Professor Nigel Grigg of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, will each will receive $150,000 for up to 24 months of research as part of the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) Explorer Grants.

These grants are available in any health research discipline, provided they propose ideas considered transformative, innovative, exploratory or unconventional, and have potential for major impact.

College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills says, “Massey University has a proud tradition of applied, translational research which these studies exemplify. We aim to make a difference to New Zealander's health and wellbeing, and reduce inequity by generating evidence for practice” says Professor Mills.”

Dr Kira will explore the many components of poverty-related nutrition-based illnesses to challenge common assumptions regarding food and nutrition security within these groups.

“Poverty is directly related to the poor and unreliable access to nutritious food,” says Dr Kira. “But the question must be asked, ‘If healthy food is accessible, will it be eaten?’ This research will provide the basis for interventions that address the very real issue of poverty-related nutrition-based illness.”

The study will deliver food to the doors of those in need to see if access to nutritious food will result in more nutritious food being eaten.

Dr Truman’s study seeks to better understand tobacco dependence to improve smoking cessation policies and practice.

“Nicotine does not act alone in causing tobacco dependence and we have discovered the most likely culprit – a specific inhibitor within the tobacco smoke.

“This monoamine oxidase inhibitor was unlike any previously reported and could be the chemical that is partly responsible for the smoker reported positive effects of smoking on mood. We will complete the purification of this inhibitor, characterise it chemically and biochemically, and test its behavioural effect in an animal model of nicotine dependence to see if it is pharmacologically active.”

“The knowledge generated will be important for better understanding tobacco dependence so that we can improve smoking cessation policies and practice.”

Professor Nigel Grigg and his team will apply a systemic approach to developing an improved Performance Measurement (PM) framework for New Zealand’s public hospitals.

The Ministry of Health requires valid and reliable mechanisms for planning and monitoring the performance of the primary health organisations and public healthcare services.

“Currently, outcome-driven PM frameworks are used by District Health Boards to measure performance against national targets. Although such frameworks are consistent and of value, they fail to adequately model the complex and systemic nature of healthcare operations. The research aims to study these systems qualitatively and in depth and then, using multivariate statistical modelling, develop a balanced PM framework that better models these operations in their context.

“An improved PM framework will in turn produce more accurate measures, and thus will help in addressing current performance gaps.”

The research aims to develop the balanced model that relates to public hospitals in New Zealand and their full range of systems.

HRC chief executive Professor Kath McPherson says, “Explorer grants support health researchers with transformative ideas that challenge the status quo and have the potential to revolutionise health care.”

The HRC also gave out an additional 8 explorer grants worth a combined total of $1.65 million.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>


Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>


Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news