GHI professor joins World Health Organisation

Nursing Professor Wendy Moyle

Griffith Health Professor Wendy Moyle has been appointed to a prestigious disease classification board of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which will revise the global health clinician’s bible.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the diagnostic handbook for health professionals and is assembled by boards of experts from all over the world to ensure health professional have clear diagnostic and treatment guidelines which are up to date and reflect the input of many different health systems, structures and level of resources.

ICD-10 was endorsed by WHO in May 1990 and came into use from 1994. The 11th revision of the classification has already started and will continue until 2015.

Professor Moyle from the Griffith Health Institute’s Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation (RCCCPI) has been appointed to the expert Consultation Group on the Classification of Behavioural and Psychosocial Symptoms of Dementia.

Her colleagues include 11 experts from the fields of medicine, psychology, social work and psychiatry, and come from countries including Switzerland, Nigeria, Brazil and China.

“The classification of diseases in the dementia area will be really complex and will reflect the enormous amount of new evidence which has been published in the last twenty years,” said Professor Moyle.

“Dementia is an international disease and so the importance of having a very broad and engaged panel of experts is paramount.”

Professor Moyle admits the appointment and its expectations are as exciting and daunting as the panel members themselves.

“I really don’t know what to expect once this group is convened because they come from such a variety of professional and cultural backgrounds. They are going to bring so many perspectives to the table, but then we’ve been given some pretty firm deadlines to settle on symptoms and diseases classifications, so there will be some pressure.”

“I really don’t know how I came to be nominated to this committee, but it is very gratifying to be included with such distinguished people,” she said.

WHO has stipulated that the classification system developed by the group must be usable by health care workers in rich and poor nations, and by health care workers with limited training as well as western-style specialists.