Research in School of Health

Overview of Research in the School of Health

Researchers in the School of Health are actively participating in two research clusters Safety and Well Being in Health and social care and Mental Health and Wellbeing. We conduct world class research across a broad range of health topics with expertise across quantitative, qualitative and mix method approaches. We aim to develop and support a research culture that enhances collaboration with key stakeholders and results in strategic outputs. We welcome enquiries about our active research projects and potential students wanting to work with us. Each research group is described below.

Safety and Wellbeing in Health and Social Care

Program leads:  Professor Vicki Parker and Professor Debra Jackson

Within this cluster research is focused on practice, policy, education and leadership related to patient safety and safe practice in a range of care contexts and related to a range of health problems. Our membership comprises researchers across all disciplines within the School and across the university, together with clinician partners and colleagues from other organisations.

Our aim is establish a reputation for excellence in research that impacts positively on the health and well-being of rural populations, and the practice and well- being of the rural health workforce. We conduct research that contributes to the research objectives of the University, Hunter New England Local Health District and NSW Health.

Current projects
Patient Safety
  • Factors that impact on patient safety in rural Health contexts in rural NSW:  Professor Vicki Parker
  • Pressure Injury assessment and management in community contexts: Professor Debra Jackson, Professor Kim Usher
  • Patient safety and nursing student's confidence and competency: Professor Kim Usher
Health Curriculum
  • Review of patient safety in Undergraduate Nursing Curricula: Professor Kim Usher
Health Workforce
  • Workplace Learning: Professor Jane Conway
  • Leadership: Professor Debra Jackson, Associate Professor Godfrey Isouard
Patient experience
  • Rural older people’s supportive networks (in conjunction with researchers in HNE Health): Professor Vicki Parker
  • Meeting the information needs of patients who have surgery for Head and Neck Cancer: Professor Vicki Parker
Community engagement
  • Evaluation of the Coledale student led clinic: Professor Cynthia Stuhlmiller

Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Group

Program leads: Associate Professor Myfanwy Maple and Professor Bob Lonne

Our interdisciplinary group researches key populations taking into account the layered contexts in which people live and work. Mental health and wellbeing is understood to be more than the absence of disease or illness, rather focusing on improved quality of life across the lifespan at individual, family and community levels.

To achieve this, our work is embedded within the World Health Organisation Sustainable Development Goals (link) and the Australian National Science and Research Priorities. We work in partnership with communities, national centres and international partners translating our research into practical outcomes.

Our work streams are:

Complex Trauma
  • Mental illness
  • Suicide prevention, exposure and bereavement
  • Stigma and identity
  • Substance abuse & behavioral addictions
Key Populations
  • Young people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Rural people
  • International communities
Treatments and Interventions
  • Outcome and evaluation
  • Design
  • Process and implementation

Research and Scholarship related to Teaching & Learning

Program lead: Professor Jane Conway

Science integration into nursing units: Professor Jane Conway

Transition experiences for new graduate nurses: Dr Jackie Lea, Professor Vicki Parker