History of Research at the OHSRC
The Oral Health Services Research Centre is located in a purpose-built facility providing optimum clinical and laboratory conditions together with well equipped conference and research services.
The centre's work has three complementary facets:
- It is a health and health services research centre which holds peer reviewed research grants and commissioned research contracts nationally and internationally (WHO collaborating centre for Health Services Research).
- It is a clinical research testing facility providing services for the international oral healthcare industry.
- It is a postgraduate research and teaching centre supporting students in epidemiology, health services research and related disciplines.
It was established in 1983 in response to growing demands for Oral Health Services Research projects from health agencies in Ireland and overseas, seeking appropriate policy information for the proper planning of dental services.
The Oral Health Services Research Centre has conducted clinical trials of oral health care products for industry since 1994. Subjects are recruited from the local population, with up to 400 subjects being randomised per study.
The Centre works closely with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Dental Service. The OHSRC has directed national surveys on the oral health of both children and adults and also carried out surveys for regional health authorities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Centre is also active in EU projects and was a participant in the AIM (Advances in Informatics in Medicine) programme. The Oral Health Services Research Centre was the co-ordinating partner for two projects under the EU Third and Fourth Research and Technological Development Programmes, and a collaborating partner in a further project under the EU Fifth Framework Programme. The centre participates in an international fluoride research programme funded by the NIH.
The OHSRC has an international profile and in 1986 was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Health Services Research. It has continued to retain that designation. In this capacity the OHSRC provides data for the WHO global data bank and has participated in various projects worldwide.
The Centre provides support for international researchers supporting the development of dental public health overseas.
Within UCC, the OHSRC has strong links with the University Dental School and Hospital, School of Applied Psychology, School of Applied Social Studies, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Centre for Policy Studies, Department of Chemistry, Department of Computer Science, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Mathematical Sciences and School of Microbiology.
Many of the professional staff in the Centre contribute to the teaching of Dental Public Health at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the University Dental School & Hospital. The OHSRC hosts postgraduate students at Masters and PhD level in epidemiology and disciplines relevant to dental public health. It hosts the taught Masters in Dental Public Health programme in University College Cork, and contributes to teaching in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.