The University of Newcastle has been awarded half a million dollars for research into the important area of palliative care.
The National Health and Medical Research Council grants will assist three University of Newcastle researchers to develop new tools to improve quality of life for people facing serious and complex illnesses.
Professor Afaf Girgis from the University's School of Medicine and Public Health has been awarded $286,000 to develop a consumer toolkit about specialist palliative care services. Her research will also determine whether using the consumer toolkit leads to reduced levels of unmet needs and increased referral to appropriate specialist palliative care services.
Research Officers Claire Johnson and Amy Waller will further explore the palliative care tool developed by Professor Girgis, particularly ways to communicate unmet needs to health care teams so that improvements can occur. Combined, they have been awarded close to $215,000 for their research.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Barney Glover, welcomed the grants, and said it highlighted the University of Newcastle's research strengths.
"The University of Newcastle has a strong and vibrant research culture, and is recognised as a leader in health research in Australia," Professor Glover said.
"The Hunter Medical Research Institute, our partnership with Hunter New England Health and the community, is contributing valuable knowledge and research expertise towards improving our understanding of a range of health-related problems.
"With the ageing of the population, these research grants will provide important information to improve palliative care services."
The grants awarded to the University of Newcastle are three of 10 research grants and 12 researcher support grants awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council across Australia.