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Table of Contents
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 116-117

Rural research: Let's make it happen!

1 Rural Road Map, Implementation Committee, SRPC, 2Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, NL, Canada, Canada
2 Discipline of Emergency Medicine, Cross-Appointment with Discipline of Family Medicine Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre; Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL; SRPC Research Committee, Society of Rural Physician of, Canada

Date of Submission13-Jan-2022
Date of Decision29-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance26-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
MD, James Rourke
Rural Road Map, Implementation Committee, SRPC, 2Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, NL, Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_4_22

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How to cite this article:
Rourke J, Bradbury-Squires D. Rural research: Let's make it happen!. Can J Rural Med 2022;27:116-7

How to cite this URL:
Rourke J, Bradbury-Squires D. Rural research: Let's make it happen!. Can J Rural Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 May 31];27:116-7. Available from: https://www.cjrm.ca/text.asp?2022/27/3/116/349020

Canadians living in rural communities need rural research to improve their health and healthcare. Urban-based research just does not usually translate into better rural health or healthcare and is especially disconnected from remote Indigenous communities. COVID has emphasised the need to engage rural communities and health-care stakeholders to study their own health issues to develop, synthesise and mobilise knowledge required on the ground. This has been difficult to achieve, but some doors have begun to open. Let's make it happen!

Memorial University's research skills development programme, 6for6, and the Rural Coordination Centre of BC Rural Physician Research Support Project provide east and west coast lighthouse examples that demonstrate rural physicians are interested and ideally suited to become effective community-engaged researchers.[1],[2] Research education, connection and support are the magic ingredients to assist them. In 2010, Canada's Academic Health Science Centres embraced the 'Three missions, one future' vision of becoming Networks combining clinical excellence, education and research.[3] Since every Canadian medical school has a distributed education network, it is time now for them to build research into these rural networks to advance rural clinical care, rural medical education and rural recruitment and retention. This model has been successfully developed in Australia.[4]

For decades, the doors to mainstream funding, support, and capacity building seemed closed for rural health research.[5] The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC), in collaboration with the Canadian Family Physicians of Canada and Rural Road Map Implementation Committee advocated to Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to make it mandatory that research initiatives and programmes should include a 'rural' lens to ensure that the rural and Indigenous health population needs are effectively being addressed and met. In 2021, CIHR took notice and rural health research is now noted in the new CIHR Strategic Plan 2021-2031: A Vision for a Healthier Future.[6]

What is further encouraging is that SRPC co-partnered with CIHR's Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) in October 2021 in co-hosting a focus group session with rural researchers, providers and decision-makers across Canada on integrating care for rural populations as part of a new research initiative to be announced in 2022. Revitalised in 2021, the SRPC Research Committee will continue discussions with CIHR in exploring ways to build rural health research capacity and to develop and disseminate quality rural medical research to inform evidence-based policymaking for better equitable access to rural health care.

We would like to hear from physicians and others across Canada who are interested in rural research. Please send your ideas to SRPC's Research Committee through [email protected].

(See also SRPC website https://srpc.ca/research-committee).

Acknowledgements: Carmela Bosco, SRPC Lead, Rural Road Map Project in providing the context and background for this article as well as facilitated discussions between SRPC and CHIR-IHSPR.

Financial support and sponsorship: Nil.

Conflicts of interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

MacLellan C, Bethune C, Heeley T, Graham W, Button C, Asghari S. Assessing the effectiveness of a research training program in developing research competency and productivity among rural physicians. Can J Rural Med 2021;26:103-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Rural Coordination Centre of BC. Rural Physician Research Support Project. Available form: https://rccbc.ca/rccbc-initiatives/ grants-and-awards/rural-physician-research-support-project-grant. [Last accessed on 2022 May 22].  Back to cited text no. 2
Skura E. Task force urges medical school networking. CMAJ 2010;182:E437-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Lyle D, Greenhill J. Two decades of building capacity in rural health education, training and research in Australia: University Departments of Rural Health and Rural Clinical Schools. Aust J Rural Health 2018;26:314-22.  Back to cited text no. 4
Rourke J, Wilson R. Research funding by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: More rural needed! Can J Rural Med 2020;25:11-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
Canadian Institute for Health Services and Policy Research. IHSPR 2021-26 Strategic Plan: Accelerate Health Care System Transformation through Research to Achieve the Quadruple Aim and Health Equity for All: Health Equity for All; June 2021. Available from: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/documents/ihspr_strat_ plan_2021-26-en.pdf. [Last accessed on 2022 May 22].  Back to cited text no. 6


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