The Centre for Socioeconomic Research (CSER) was established to bring together the different strands of research that I have been involved with over the past 15 years. During this period having made many valuable contacts and worked with some knowledgeable and interesting people, I am now able to take advantage of these resources to create a Centre from which to study issues concerned with health related quality of life.
Significant changes are taking place within society and for health care systems to be effective, social, economic and individual priorities must be established. We believe that Socioeconomic Research encompasses a comprehensive evaluation of these changes and their impact on the delivery of health care. It includes the influences of changing communities, economies, images, ideas, relationships and personal perceptions of health care objectives. Consequently, modern health care must reflect these changes which have shifted priorities, values and expectations. Undoubtedly, evaluation of these changes is best achieved by a multidisciplinary approach involving personnel in sociology, psychology, economics, philosophy, epidemiology, medicine and pharmacy. Increasingly, patients are asking for greater autonomy and for an improved quality of life in addition to quantity of life. Health care professionals are therefore constantly looking for ways to accommodate these changing needs.
The application of the concept of quality of life in medicine is now becoming an integral part of day-to-day clinical practice. Thus, the shift from the more traditional approaches in medicine towards a more patient orientated one has gained an unprecedented impetus in the last decade. In Cardiff we recognised the importance of evaluating the holistic approach when treating patients in terms of attaching equal weight to clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes in the clinical decision making process.
I am confident that by bringing together a group of individuals with different expertise, but common objectives under the umbrella of the CSER we will continue to promote this paradigm shift through research, education and training. In this way the Centre will bring benefits to both patients and society.
The Centre for Socioeconomic Research was offically opened by Sir Richard Sykes (Chairman, GSK) and Mrs Glenys Kinnock (MEP) on the 26th November 1999. The launch brochure published subsequent to the event can be viewed here.
Professor Sam Salek
Director - Centre for Socioeconomic Research