Poster Presentation Joint Scientific Meeting of the Australian & NZ Head & Neck Cancer Society & NZ Association of Plastic Surgeons

A collaborative approach to establishing speech pathology research in head and neck cancer: A model of organisational and academic support, research productivity and building research capacity at Prince of Wales (1412)

Emma Stradling 1 , Elizabeth Ward 2 , Rachelle Robinson 1 , Robert Smee 1
  1. Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia
  2. School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia


It is well recognised that quality, transparent research should underpin all health related intervention (Barratt 2008).  Despite this, there are significant gaps in both skills required and levels of confidence in undertaking research (Finch et al 2015).  In 2010 the speech pathology department at Prince of Wales recognised the need to foster clinical research and with the support of the department of radiation oncology developed a longitudinal database to capture functional speech and swallowing outcomes for patients undergoing head and neck cancer treatment.

This study aims to evaluate this particular model of research, examining the experiences of those involved, difficulties and benefits encountered and the extent to which this approach can foster clinical research capacity.


10 key stakeholders were identified as being essential for the establishment and use of the research database including those responsible for funding of the research position, academic links from the University of Queensland, clinicians and management.  These stakeholders were consented to be involved in a semi-structured interview which explored the benefits, challenges and experiences of collaborating in this approach to research.


Interviews were transcribed and using a qualitative content analysis approach were analysed to identify key themes of relevance.   Several consistent themes emerge across the group as well as those more relevant to individuals including improving research profiles, meeting organisational KPIs, skill development, and achieving academic excellence.


Fiscal support, strong academic links and protected research time are key components in developing quality research in the workplace.  Successful collaborations and support are essential when fostering a research culture and developing quality, evidence based interventions.

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