A study of this length is referred to as a longitudinal study and provides capacity to uncover the source of problems and to answer complex questions. Most of the world’s few longitudinal studies are based in stable communities with low population growth and provide a limited assessment of community adaption to change. In contrast, The Ipswich Study involves a community that is undergoing enormous growth and change. The Queensland Government predicts the Ipswich population will triple by 2031.
By tracking participants over a longer period of time, researchers gain a greater understanding of what leads to positive and negative outcomes for health and well being as people grow, reach adulthood and age. Discoveries along the way can be used to improve the quality of life for communities and not just that of Ipswich, but more broadly, extending to national and international communities.
For the first time, health research will provide an understanding of how people and places are adapting to the economic, social, environmental and technological changes of this century. In 2010, The Ipswich Study will commence and we need vital funding to make this happen.
Professor Robert Bush,
Director, Healthy Communities Research Centre