South African-Swedish research collaboration project

Posted on May 29, 2019

South African-Swedish research collaboration project

Dr Ensa Johnson (Centre for AAC, UP) and Associate Prof Stefan Nilsson from Gothenburg University in Sweden received funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF), Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) as well as the South African Swedish University Forum (SASUF) to conduct research on the development of an e-health communication support tool, called PicPecc to enable children with cancer to communicate their symptoms. Funding has been received for the period of 2019 to 2021. The title of the project is: Shared decision-making in a multicultural society: supporting children with cancer with symptom management.

Researchers and postgraduate students from four universities in South Africa (University of Pretoria, University of the Free State, University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town) and four universities in Sweden (University of Gothenburg, Uppsala University, University West, University of Borås) will be involved in various phases of this project. In Phase 1, different smaller studies are planned, e.g., systematic reviews, adaptations to some data collection tools and focus group discussions with stakeholders (children with cancer, caregivers and healthcare professionals) to inform the development of the e-health communication support tool (PicPecc). Thereafter the tool will be developed and piloted. Phase 2 will entail an intervention study using the e-health communication support tool (PicPecc) with children with cancer.

Prof Nilsson and Dr Johnson presented their project at a launching workshop for the 2019 to 2021 NRF/STINT joint projects on 6 May at the University of Stellenbosch. The following day 12 members of the research team did a planning meeting at Devonvale Country and Wine Estate, Stellenbosch and met with Prof Alan Davidson at the Red Cross Children’s Memorial Hospital on the 8th May. The Swedish group members and Dr Johnson attended and presented their project at the SASUF Research & Innovation Week 2019.

Photo: South African and Swedish collaborators at the planning meeting

Front row (from left to right): Prof Gunilla Thunberg (DART, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE); Ms Khetsiwe Masuku (PhD student, University of Pretoria, SA), Ms Angelica Wiljen (PhD student, University of Borås and University of Gothenburg, SE); Prof Jonas Bergquist (Uppsala University, SE)

Second row: Dr Ensa Johnson (University of Pretoria, SA); Dr Portia Bimray (University of Western Cape, SA); Prof Stefan Nilsson (University of Gothenburg, SE)

Third row: Dr Anneli Schwarz (Södra Älvsborgs Hospital, SE); Prof Juan Bornman (University of Pretoria, SA), Dr Katarina Karlsson (University of Borås, SE);

Back row: Dr William Jobe (University West, SE); Dr Tomas Lindroth (University West, SE)

- Author Dr Ensa Johnson

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