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IRPC Australian Chapter
Chairperson: Dr. Pam McGrath B.Soc.Wk., MA., PhD
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow & Director
International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research (IPP-SHR)
Central Queensland University, Brisbane Qld 4702, Australia.
For over a decade, Dr Pam McGrath and her team, International Program of Psycho-Social Health Research (IPP-SHR), have worked closely with IRPC on a range of research projects. In 2007, funding was obtained from the Australian government's Australia/India Endeavour Fellowship scheme to send Dr Kate Burns to Trivandarum, Kerala, India to explore through research issues relevant to supportive care for cancer patients. This research was conducted at the Regional Cancer Care Centre (RCCC) in collaboration with Dr Thomas Koilparampil.
Subsequent to this in 2008, Hamish Holewa, from IPP-SHR, completed data collection at RCCC for a research project examining service delivery issues in relation to palliative care for cancer patients. This project was conducted in collaboration with Care Plus, the palliative care team at RCCC. The project was successfully completed and published (McGrath P., Holewa H., Koilparampil T., Koshy C., George S.,(2009) Learning from each other: Cross-cultural Insights on Palliative Care, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 15,8:332-342).
In 2009, the program of research was extended to include collaboration with Dr Rita Cross though a project that explored the psycho-social needs of HIV positive women attending two of the newly established Community Care Centres in Kerala, as reported by the health care practitioners of those services. The data collection and analysis has been completed and the findings are presently being submitted for publication. Background to the study has been published as an invited editorial in the Austral-Asian Journal of Cancer (Rice S. & McGrath P., (2010) Editorial: Successful Australia-India Cancer Research Program expands to bring benefits to other diagnostic groups. Austral-Asian Journal of Cancer. 9,1:1-3.)
With the leadership provided by Hamish Holewa, IPP-SHR has contributed to the development of IRPC's journal, the Austral-Asian Journal of Cancer, a HERDC recognised, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary cancer journal. A major contribution has been the implementation of an Open Access model of publishing which allows for free and easy full text articles. A pivotal change in 2009, was reflected in the implementation of the Open Journal Systems (OJS) architecture on AJC servers. AJC is now indexed with Medline and has joined the Directory of Open Access Journals and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.