The sixth Nordic Social Pharmacy and Health Research Conference were held in Gothenburg 12-13th of June. The main theme for the conference was "Striving for equality in research participation and the implications for care".
Health research should be a common good, but to achieve equality in this research has proven to be difficult. Dr. Maria Magnusson, researcher in public health at Gothenburg University, painted a background of why this is the case. Presentation of research questions and results have an impact on who joins research projects. Increased scepticism to research due to conflicting results, low health literacy due to e.g. low educational level or immigrant background may be some of the challenges we have to deal with.
The latter was elaborated by Professor Else-Lydia Toverud, University of Oslo, in her talk about research projects within immigrant communities in Oslo. She also emphasised that we should not think of immigrants as a single homogeneous unit.
Anna Alassaad, clinical pharmacist at Uppsala University Hospital, spoke about implications of different outcome measures and that we should choose them with care.
All lecturers concluded that health research should be based on the patient's needs, and also emphasised that patients should be involved to a greater extent in all parts of the research process, not only during data collection.
Exchange of research results and ideas
In addition to the plenary sessions, we gained knowledge about ongoing social pharmacy research from several of our neighbours during parallel sessions and poster walks. Discussions and exchange of ideas also arose from various workshops during the conference. The workshop about professionalism was especially popular and challenged us to think of new ways to educate our students.
Lone Holst and Kristine Heitmann were part of the organising committee for one of the workshops, Clinical pharmacy in obstetrics: The role of the pharmacist in the Nordic countries. Kristine Heitmann and Lillan Mo Andreassen both participated with posters, and results from the master thesis by alumna Anette Vik Mamen was presented by our Oslo-colleague Helle Håkonsen. Master students from other Nordic universities also presented at the conference, evoking great interest and applause from the more experienced researchers. The threshold for letting master students presnt at this conference is low, and we are hoping that several of our own students will join us in Tartu, Estonia in two years time.
We also wish to thank the organising committee for making this a fun and interesting conference!