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1 March 2019

Dear IPCRG Colleague,

Find out what has been happening at IPCRG since the end of 2018 and our exciting plans for 2019 and beyond.

New Initiatives
A new external website for IPCRG
In February our Board of Directors agreed to commission a new external website for IPCRG. This new website will provide a more user-friendly interface, enabling our audiences to identify and access IPCRG tools, research and other materials more easily and quickly. The website will be designed around the new IPCRG vision for the charity, Breathing and feeling well through universal access to right care, which we reported on in the November 2018 newsletter.   We will have more news on the timescale for our new external website soon!
Medscape Education Global
We are pleased to announce that IPCRG is in partnership with Medscape Education Global, the leading provider of online educational resources for healthcare professionals worldwide.  We are starting our collaboration with an educational initiative also in partnership with the World Allergy Organization to improve the care of people with difficult to manage asthma.  The initiative will use interactive online resources including expert roundtable discussions, case studies, and unique simulation technology to enable primary care professionals to develop their knowledge and skills.  We will share more information and links to these resources very soon.
Research Updates
Go here to read the final newsletter and infographic summarising this three-year implementation science project.
The project is funded by EU Horizon 2020 framework to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic lung diseases where resources are limited. We will continue to publish papers arising from this important work that has tackled the causes and offered feasible interventions for low and middle income countries including impactful awareness raising and capacity building in diagnosis and treatment.  It has also left a legacy of researchers and teachers with the knowledge, confidence and skills to scale up the work.  Engagement at ministerial level promises that this scale up potential may be realised.
IPCRG is one of the core organisations of the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE).  This major international research initiative is funded by the UK’s National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and run from the University of Edinburgh. 
We co-lead the Stakeholder Engagement platform – which works with all partners across Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Pakistan to engage in meaningful ways with key stakeholders to help ensure the research makes an impact on policy and practice. The collaboration has already resulted in several wonderful success stories: Monsur Habib from Bangladesh, who many of you know as one of the founding members of IPCRG, has now embarked on a PhD programme on pulmonary rehabilitation.  Kamilla Ramdzan and Hani Salim from Malaysia, winners of our Research School in Singapore in 2015, are now also in Edinburgh studying for PhDs.  Kamilla’s paper funded from our research prize has just been published Read more about their story here and more about RESPIRE aims, the teams and the PhD candidates here:
IPCRG is leading on clinical engagement, communication and dissemination for the Breathe Well partnership. The partnership, which is led by the University of Birmingham and funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research, aims to foster research in primary care and the community to improve the diagnosis, management and prognosis of COPD patients in low and middle-income countries, where around 90% of COPD deaths occur.
The teams are working on these research questions:
  • Georgia: What is the effectiveness of a Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) programme adapted to the Georgian context compared to usual care for patients with symptomatic COPD of MRC ≥2?
  • Republic of North Macedonia: Does additional assessment & communication of lung age/feedback on exhaled CO levels among smokers in primary care increase likelihood of quitting smoking compared to giving very brief smoking cessation advice (VBA) alone?
  • Brazil: What are the most cost effective screening strategies for identifying undiagnosed COPD in Brazil amongst patients (≥40 years) with systemic arterial hypertension?
  • China: What are the most cost-effective screening strategies for identifying undiagnosed COPD in the general population in China?
Protocols for the studies were presented at the 9th IPCRG International Conference in Porto.  Patient recruitment to the studies is now underway. The results from studies will be available in early 2020 and presented for peer review at IPCRG conferences.  For up-to-date information on progress go here.
Research Prioritisation
The IPCRG Research Sub-committee is overseeing a new research prioritisation exercise, using an on-line survey, an evidence check and a Delphi method to reach consensus. When this exercise is complete, IPCRG will update its last IPCRG Research Needs Statement, which was published in 2012.  This will help IPCRG undertake and advocate for research that addresses unanswered questions that are of importance to primary care clinicians.  Rachel Jordan, Chair of the Research Sub-committee, Arwa Abdel-Aal, Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice and her colleagues at the University of Birmingham who are leading on this work will attend our 6th Scientific Meeting in Bucharest to give you an update. We will share details very soon of how you can contribute to the research prioritisation.
Change Programmes
Those of you who attended Porto 2018 will have heard about our social movement approach to getting conversations going about the right care for people with asthma. 
Or maybe you’ve seen our Asthma Right Care slide rule and Question and Challenge Cards?   We are taking the best evidence on networks, social movements and the management of asthma and applying it to the current widespread state of over-reliance on symptom relief mainly using short-acting beta-agonists rather than reliance on anti-inflammatory treatment for asthma.  We are using conversation pieces that are co-designed with local multi-disciplinary teams including patients. These aim to move people from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence, and then offering case-based education to support their move to conscious competence, and then, ultimately, with the support of IPCRG teachers and mentors, to integrate into their practice and achieve unconscious competence.  See and watch out for news of roll-out to more countries!
IPCRG has received funding from AstraZeneca to develop our Asthma Right Care Initiative.
Teach the Teacher: Improving Diagnosis and Management of Children with Asthma.

Asthma remains a common chronic condition in children worldwide, often with variable or poor diagnosis and management.  We are pleased to announce a new Teach the Teacher programme that will focus on this issue. We are working with four countries Malaysia, Singapore, Spain and the US. An International Faculty will meet in Kuala Lumpur in April 2019, to finalise a master curriculum and to support in–country teams to adapt and develop educational resources which will be taught and implemented locally.

Short paper just out in Lancet Respiratory Medicine giving more information on a global charter for children with asthma and our Teach the Teacher programme: available here 

The project is funded by an independent education grant from GSK.

Teach the Teacher: Building capacity to treat tobacco dependence in Eastern Europe.

This Global Bridges project is nearing completion with final reporting in March 2019. We worked with four countries – Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Kyrgyzstan – on a Teach the Teacher programme. We brought together an Expert Faculty to lead an International Workshop in March 2017. Teaching small groups of teachers from each country, about tobacco dependence and Very Brief Advice (VBA). Each in-country group have since adapted and run education programmes to develop education and treatment capacity. We estimate 120 primary care educators and 800 healthcare professionals in four countries have benefited from this training. In our evaluation, we have also identified a number of significant tobacco control and policy developments, which colleagues have been well placed to influence.   

Conference Update
Plans are well underway for the 6th IPCRG Scientific Meeting being held at the Novotel, Bucharest, on the 23rd – 25th May, if we include the Research School taking place on the 23rd May.

Numbers are building well for Bucharest - there's still time to submit an abstract.  See our other news alert and here for information about article processing discounts for the npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine and possible bursary programme for those whose abstracts are accepted.

The deadline for abstract submission is the 4th of March so we are hoping for many more abstracts to be submitted to showcase the great respiratory research that is taking place in primary care.
Breathing & Living Well, The Importance of Primary Care, is the theme of the IPCRG 10th World Conference taking place at Croke Park, Dublin on the 28-30th May 2020.
Our theme reflects the WHO promotion of primary care and the goal of universal health coverage; the importance of promoting physical activity for health; the latest evidence about air pollution and health; focusing on mind-body connections; and introducing sleep which is something we’ve not covered much in previous conferences. The Conference including the open Call for Sessions will be launched in Bucharest in May and we are looking forward to receiving session suggestions from our member countries.
We are also working hard with our colleagues in China on the 1st IPCRG International (China) conference that will take place in the autumn of 2020. The 2020 China conference is the first step in a longer collaborative programme between CARD-PC (Chinese Association of Respiratory Disease - Primary Care) and IPCRG.
We are delighted that IPCRG teams will be running sessions on respiratory care at two WONCA regional meetings: WONCA Asia in May in Kyoto and WONCA Europe in Bratislava in June. Let us know if you'll be there and we can organise a meet-up!   To find out more about our collaborations with WONCA go here:
Please share this newsletter with colleagues, and we look forward to seeing you in Bucharest!
Ioanna Tsiligianni            Siân Williams
President IPCRG              CEO IPCRG

Please share this e-alert with your community
Save the Date
The IPCRG 10th World Conference will be in Dublin 28-30 May 2020
The International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) is a charity registered in Scotland working internationally (SC No: 035056) and a company limited by guarantee (Company number 256268)
The IPCRG is the Respiratory Special Interest Group of WONCA Europe and an Organisation in Collaborative Relations with WONCA Global 

The IPCRG is the primary care representative on WHO-Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) Planning Executive

Supporter of the NCD Alliance
Copyright © 2019 IPCRG, All rights reserved.

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