23 October 2010

The impact of the health system on women’s health will be examined by a multi-million dollar Centre of Research Excellence at The University of Queensland (UQ).

The Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health in the 21st century (CREWH21) will see UQ and University of Newcastle researchers collaborate on studies that examine how changes in the health system have an impact on women’s health.

CREWH21 will also examine how changes in women’s lives affect their health.

The Centre is funded by a $2.1 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), as part of a $27 million investment in 11 Centres of Research Excellence around Australia.

CREWH21 researchers will draw on a world-leading collection of longitudinal data drawn from a 15-year ongoing study of 40,000 women randomly selected from all over Australia (the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health – ALSWH www.alswh.org.au).

The information gained from surveys of these women is enhanced by linkage with records of their use of health services, providing insight into how women use the health care system and how their interaction with it affects their health.

The Centre, led by Professor Annette Dobson from UQ’s School of Population Health, will focus on four priority issues: reproductive health, mental health, cardiovascular conditions, and musculoskeletal problems.

Professor Dobson said that the research of CREWH21 will provide new insights into how common conditions, such as heart disease and arthritis, are caused and treated.

“CREWH21 is truly unique because it is a chance for researchers from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on the major health issues facing Australian women today,” she said.

“Findings will help shape future health policy and ensure the health needs of women are met.”

CREWH21 researchers have backgrounds in health, behavioural, and statistical disciplines, and have strong collaborative links with other research groups in Australia and overseas.

The findings of CREWH21 will be widely shared with the public, as well as health policy makers, through professional bodies, community groups, and the researcher’s extensive links as members of expert committees and panels.

More information:
Professor Annette Dobson
T: 07 3365 5540

Professor Gita Mishra
T: 07 3365 5540