Professor Anne Moore, Director of the Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, University of Brighton; Dr Amanda Connell, Head of Department of Physiotherapy at University of Limerick; Dr Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission and Chair of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions; Dr Jenny Hislop, Senior Qualitative Researcher in the Health Experiences Group at the University of Oxford and Tadhg Stapleton, Chairman of the Rehabilitation and Therapy Research Society.
The 7th annual conference of the Rehabilitation and Therapy Research Society (RTRS) took place at the University of Limerick today under the title 'Developing Clinical Research Partnerships'. The RTRS was established in May 2004 by representatives of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy university faculty across Ireland, to promote cooperation and collaboration in developing research activity in these allied health professions.
The main aim of the conference was to disseminate research in rehabilitation and to provide researchers in the three therapy professions at all levels of experience an opportunity to present their results. The keynote speakers at today's conference included Dr Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission and Chair of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions; Professor Ann Moore, Director of the Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, University of Brighton and Dr Jenny Hislop, Senior Qualitative Researcher in the Health Experiences Group at the University of Oxford.
In her presentation Professor Moore addressed the importance of the Rehabilitation and Therapy Research Society in maintaining a healthy and vibrant research culture amongst the Allied Health Professions in Ireland. "If we all work together to develop a strong evidence base, then we will all succeed together," said Professor Moore. Dr Manning spoke to the approx 50 delegates who attended the conference about how the principles of Human Rights apply to the Therapy professions. He emphasised the importance of legislation and in particular the Disability Act in protecting Human Rights and this is particularly important for disadvantaged groups. Dr Hislop presented delegates with an introduction to a unique research tool healthtalkonline.org, a multimedia internet resource of personal and patient experiences of over 60 different health and illness conditions. Olive Lennon, founding staff member of the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit, Baggot Street Community Hospital, presented her research with people who have had a stroke shows that exercise is effective in preventing further strokes. The conference showcased an impressive diversity of research that all contributes to the evidence base for effective therapy across all age ranges and areas of healthcare.
Speaking from the event Dr Amanda Connell, Head of Department of Physiotherapy at UL said that it was very encouraging within the three clinical therapies to see such collaboration on very nationally relevant research topics. "As health professionals our main aim is to benefit our communities and coming together to pool our research knowledge will go a long way in developing new therapies and ultimately improve the quality of people's lives"