Completed research projects

2015 completed research reports

Natalie Edmiston, NNSWLHD

Cohort study of predictors of unplanned hospital admissions among Regional People with HIV in NSW from 2012-2016; the impact of multimorbidity

Natalie Edmiston is a staff specialist in sexual health medicine with North Coast Public Health. As a 2015 RRCBP cohort candidate she was able to complete a prospective cohort study of multimorbidity outcomes among People with HIV attending a regional sexual health service and continues to conduct research in this field.

One page summary     Full report

 Natalie Edmiston

Shibu John, MNCLHD

Decision Making Capacity Assessment for Confused Patients in a Regional Hospital

Shibu John is a social worker with over 15 years of experience, who has been working at Coffs Harbour Health Campus for the last seven years. The idea for this research project came from an interest to protect the autonomy and safety of vulnerable confused hospitalised older patients; and to promote patient focused care in rural and regional health.

One page summary     Full report 


Melanie Malpass, HNELHD

Advance Care Planning after Stroke: An interventional pilot study exploring the delivery of advanced care planning to stroke survivors

Melanie Malpass is a Speech Pathologist working for Hunter New England Health with the Aged Care and Rehabilitation Service in Taree. For the past 7 years she has provided speech pathology service to adults in sub-acute and community settings. Melanie completed a Master of Health Science (Stroke Specialisation) in 2013 and has strong interest in improving the provision of effective, client centred healthcare for patients with stroke.

One page summary     Full report

 Mel Malpass

Nicole Raschke, MNCLHD

The Perceived Research Capacity and Culture within Non-Metropolitan Local Health Districts in NSW

Nicole Raschke is the Research Operations Manager for the Mid North Coast Local Health District where she supports and facilitates staff to develop and conduct locally relevant research. Nicole has worked across a wide range of health fields and professions in Australia and overseas from laboratory science, IT, oncology and finally research operations. Her passion for knowledge has seen her complete a Bachelor of Applied Science, Graduate Certificate Health Management, Graduate Diploma Computing, Masters Clinical Trials Practice and is currently a PhD candidate extending her HETI RRCBP project further exploring The Enablers of Research in NSW LHDs.

One page summary     Full report unavailable

Nicole Raschke 

Thea Ritchie, FWLHD

How the experiences of the Broken Hill Midwifery Group Practice Midwives can inform remote midwife-led models of care: An Appreciative Inquiry study

Thea is a Registered Midwife with a Master’s degree in Midwifery, who filled the Project Officer role to establish a Midwifery Group Practice at Broken Hill which commenced in 2015. Thea has been responsible for evaluating the MGP model of care and sharing the outcomes with other rural health services. Thea hopes to use her research skills to continue improving rural maternity services, something she feel absolutely passionate about.

One page summary     Full report 


Caroline Short, HNELHD

Experiences of informal caregivers in managing the care and the death in the rural palliative care home setting

Caroline Short is a Clinical Nurse Consultant who has worked in specialist palliative care for 23 years, leading and developing the service. While completing a Master’s Degree in Public Health Caroline developed a deep interest in Health Promoting Palliative Care and Compassionate Communities philosophies. Belief in these philosophies as essential frameworks for practice has led to their application to everyday practice. Essentially this approach involves a team partnership with the community in thinking creatively to apply these philosophies, which lead to formalised research to investigate the lived experience of caregivers in the palliative care home setting in rural New South Wales.

One page summary     Full report 

 Caroline Short

Peter Sirr, MLHD

Factors Associated with Fear of Falling in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Regional NSW

Peter is a Titled Gerontological Physiotherapist. He has worked clinically in hospital, community and residential care settings over the last 10 years in both public and private settings. Peter has a passion for working with older people, striving to improve the life of older Australian’s through a proactive evidence-based approach to physiotherapy service. Peter combines his clinical role at Mercy Health, with employment at Charles Sturt University, assisting in programs that develop gerontology knowledge and skills for health professionals.

One page summary     Full report


Nicole Weston, WNSWLHD

Achieving an empty rectum for prostate radiotherapy. A randomised controlled trial comparing two laxation regimens for patients receiving radiotherapy to the prostate in rural Australia.

Niki Weston is an Accredited Practising Dietitian currently working at the Central West Cancer Care Centre in Orange NSW. She has been working in the area of oncology and palliative care for the last 12 years and has an interest in research and student education.

One page summary     Full report 

Nicole Weston 

Richard Williams, WNSWLHD

Pain Management in Patient Transport

Rich graduated in the late eighties from the old apprentice training system at Lithgow hospital. He has been nursing for thirty years now and was the first CNS for the Acute Pain Service at Gosford Hospital. Over the past 17 years Rich has been enjoying the one on one patient contact and travelling around each day in his role with patient transport. In his spare time, he likes helping people find their unclaimed money.

One page summary     Full report 


Andrew Wong, MNCLHD

Does pre-operative Oxford Knee Score (OKS) predict patient reported success six months after total knee arthroplasty? 

Andrew Wong is a physiotherapist working at Coffs Harbour Health Campus in the Mid North Coast Local Health District. He is employed as the Orthopaedic Care Coordinator to facilitate patients on the waiting list for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Surgery. He is passionate about improving patient outcomes following total hip and knee replacement surgeries.

One page summary     Full report 




2013 completed research reports

Richard Ball, MNCLHD

Food For Kids Mid North Coast

Parents of babies and young children sharing nutrition and child feeding information: A peer educator model

Richard Ball is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian who has been working for The Mid North Coast Local Health District as a Health Promotion Officer since 2012. He is currently working on the Healthy Children Initiative program and has a keen interest in the extension of this program into the community.

One page summary     Full report

Richard Ball 

Catherine Brabrook, HNELHD

How do individuals living with a spinal cord injury in a rural area prevent pressure injuries? The lived experience of intact skin

Catherine Brabrook is an occupational therapist and currently works as a Rural Spinal Cord Injury Coordinator with Hunter New England Health Local Health District covering the northern clusters of this district. The idea for the research project came from an interest in how much clinicians can learn from individuals who have successfully managed their spinal cord injury for the long term.

One page summary     Full report

Cath Brabrook 

Catherine Bourke, WNSWLHD - Best Report Award winner for 2013 Candidates

Autism Diagnosis in a Rural Community: Are There Opportunities for Improvement?

Catherine is a social worker with over 20 years experience in both the government and non-government sectors. She currently works as a social worker at Mudgee Community Health Centre where she provides individual counselling and group work to children and families, including those with an autism spectrum disorder. Catherine is passionate about innovative models of care that allow better access to services for those in rural communities.

One page summary     Full report 

 Catherine Bourke

Lisa Delaney, NNSWLHD

Complementary and Alternative Therapy Use in a rural Radiation Oncology Department: Increasing staff knowledge, confidence, discussion and documentation.

Lisa Delaney is a Radiation Therapist at North Coast Cancer Institute, Lismore having previously worked in a number of Australian and international rural and metropolitan centres over the past 10 years. She identified an opportunity to improve practice for an increasing cohort of patients using complementary therapies while receiving radiation therapy and is passionate about integrative health.

One page summary     Full report 

Lisa Delaney 

Francesca Leaton, NNSWLHD

Improving the use of Flexible Diuretic Regimens: An integrated model of care in regional NSW

Francesca is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the area of heart failure. Currently Francesca works as the Heart Failure Liaison Nurse at The Tweed Hospital, working in both the inpatient and outpatient sectors. Her role involves working collaboratively with patients, GPs, Doctors, Specialists and Nurses in the Tweed district to develop a contemporary model of patient centred care aimed at delivering improved quality outcomes for heart failure patients.

One page summary     Full report 

 Francesca Leaton

Sally Josh, SNSWLHD

Documenting In the Medical Record: Experiences of Engagement (DIMREE)"

Sally Josh works in Southern NSW LHD Clinical Governance as the Research Support Officer. She has a keen interest in improving patient quality and safety, and in listening to and acting on the patient experience. She maintains a very broad interest in health care and research across disciplines and sectors.

One page summary     Full report

Sally Josh 

Katherine Mohr, MLHD

Has implementing a NSW Early Access to Stroke Thrombolysis program increased the rate of thrombolysis in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD)?

Katherine Mohr is a Registered Nurse and is working as the Stroke Care Coordinator in the Acute Stroke Unit at the Wagga Wagga Health Service. She has a strong interest in improving stroke care for patients in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District. Katherine is excited about the implementation of a model of care that decreases the time of stroke symptom onset to arrival at an acute stroke unit. This will provide patients in spoke sites to access acute stroke unit care earlier, thereby improving outcomes for stroke patients.

One page summary     Full report

Katherine Mohr 

Brendan Pearson, MLHD

What drive us to drive, walk or cycle to work in Albury?

What reasons, attitudes and issues contribute to Albury residents' choice of transport to work and what strategies are likely to encourage more people to walk or cycle to work?

Brendan Pearson is working in Health Promotion in Murrumbidgee Local Health District in the areas of healthy weight programs and healthy built environments. He has strong interests in non-communicable disease prevention and believes built and natural environmental factors are major determinants of health as we are products of our environment.

One page summary     Full report

Brendan Pearson 

Nicole Rappell, NNSWLHD

Paper to Practice.

A mixed-methods study of rolling-groups as a delivery model for the Lidcombe Program treatment for early stuttering within regional communities

Nicole Rappell is a Generalist Speech Pathologist working a Byron Bay Community Health. Originally trained in London and specializing in the field of Alternative and Augmentative Communication, she sought the warmer climate of Australia and upon returning developed a passion for working with children who stutter and their families.

One page summary     Full report

 Nicole Rappell

Nicole Smith, MLHD

Is Anyone Listening?

Factors affecting time to resolution of healthcare complaints received in a diverse NSW rural public healthcare service.

Nicole Smith has worked in NSW health for 18 years and is currently the Quality Systems & Complaints Manager for the Murrumbidgee Local Health District. Nicole’s role sits within the Clinical Governance Unit and primarily covers the oversight of consumer complaint management and administration of the Incident Information Management System in the district, also providing training and support for LHD staff in incident and complaint management. Nicole has previously worked in consumer relations, public affairs and clinical operations and has a strong interest in strengthening the relationship between health services and the people they service.

One page summary     Full report

 Nicole Smith

Girish Swaminathan, SNSWLHD - Report High Commendation winner for 2013 Candidates

The factors influencing antibiotic prescribing in a rural hospital emergency department with no on-site infectious diseases support

Girish works as a Chief pharmacist with the Bega Valley Health Service. Girish has an interest in patient safety and quality and is passionate in improving healthcare standards in regional and rural areas. Girish has a postgraduate diploma in clinical pharmacy, a diploma in management and currently undertaking his masters in health services management.

One pare summary     Full report unavailable

 Girish Swaminathan

Suzanne Wright, HNELHD

Hip Dysplasia Screening in a Rural Health District:

An analysis of practice with respect to hip dysplasia screening in the Hunter New England Local Health District

Suzanne Wright is the Paediatric Physiotherapist at the Armidale and New England Hospital and provides services for children and their families throughout the Hunter New England Local Health Division (Northern sector). Suzanne worked as a Human Movements Educator prior to being a Generalist Physiotherapist in the private and public sectors. For the last 17 years Suzanne has specialised in Paediatric Physiotherapy. Suzanne has a Masters of Physiotherapy(Paediatrics), Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Education(Hons Class 1).

One page summary     Full report

 Suzanne Wright

2012 completed research reports

Kerry Bartlett, MNCLHD

Specialling in delirium and dementia: a cross-sectional study

Kerry is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Discharge Planning at Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Kerry has a Bachelor of Applied Science, a post graduate diploma in Geriatrics and a Master of Aged Care. Kerry has worked across all health care settings including public, private and community health. Areas of interest include aged care, palliative care and medical nursing.

One page summary     Full report

Kerry Bartlett

Sally Butler, WNSWLHD

The change to radiotherapy utilisation in a rural area after the establishment of a local service

Sally Butler works as a radiation nurse at Central West Cancer Service in Orange. The idea for the project was formed after a number of patients told her they would not have had radiotherapy if the new service at Orange did not exist. Sally hopes to pursue a career in research and is currently completing a Master of Biostatistics.

One page summary     Full report

Sally Butler

Marijke Denton, MLHD

Attitudes of Hope, Care and Joy: Stories of Collaborative Learning Mentors

Marijke is a speech pathologist and student educator at Albury Community Health. She has lived in rural areas for most of her life. Her work in recent years has focussed on harnessing the opportunities that present for rural, remote and Indigenous communities by combining student collaborative learning and community engagement.

One page summary     Full report

Marijke Denton

Clare Eastment, ISLHD

Life, love and lymphoedema

Let's get on with it

A rural cancer patient experience

Clare is a Physiotherapist with 25 years of experience working in the Shoalhaven on the South Coast of NSW for ISLHD with a passion for evidence based practice. More recently when working in the field of lymphoedema management it became evident that the predominately quantitative research base was neglecting the lived experience for these people sparking her interest in qualitative methodology.

One page summary     Full report 

Clare Eastment

Angela Firth, WNSWLHD

Is the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance associated with enhanced clinical practice in rural NSW?

Angela Firth holds a Bachelor of Applied Science – Speech Pathology and a Master of Public Health. Angela is employed as Allied Health Projects Coordinator for Western NSW Local Health District, and supports the clinical practice of Allied Health Assistant staff. Her research investigated the association between the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance qualification and the clinical roles of Allied Health Assistants in rural NSW.

One page summary     Full report

Angela Firth

Leonie Hamilton, NNSWLHD

The Effectiveness of Student-Delivered Speech Pathology Intervention in Schools: An Initial Investigation

Leonie is a Paediatric Speech Pathologist working at Murwillumbah Community Health and a Speech Pathology Clinical Educator for Griffith and Southern Cross Universities. She initiated the Community Health in Schools Student Clinics through the Leading for Better Patient Outcomes program.

One page summary     Full report

Leonie Hamilton

Catherine Helps, HETI

Exploring Infant Feeding Choices in the Northern NSW Aboriginal Community

Catherine is a Midwife and Registered Nurse with 20 years experience. For the past ten years Catherine has had the privilege of working with Aboriginal mothers, babies and families as the Community Midwife for the Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service. She recently became a Midwifery Educator with the HETI Training and Support Unit.

One page summary     Full report     Publication

Catherine Helps

Haozhi Jiang (Nick), NNSWLHD

Foresight instead of hindsight: An ideal model for designing an Electronic Health Record System for contemporary occupational therapy practice 

Nick is an occupational therapist working in Tweed-Byron service group. He has an undergraduate medical degree in China and a postgraduate occupational therapy degree from the University of Sydney. With a strong interest in IT technology, Nick is enthusiastic and passionate about applying modern IT technology in improving the quality and efficiency of clinical service. 

One page summary     Full report

Nick Jiang

Michael Koenen, NNSWLHD - Best Report Award winner for 2012 Candidates

"Keeping Them Warm" - A randomised controlled trial of two passive perioperative warming methods

Michael has a diverse background in nursing throughout Germany, Switzerland and Australia. He completed a graduate certificate and ‘Leading for a Better Patient Outcome’. In 2007 Michael published an article on the prevention of venous thromboembolism in the ACORN Journal. Michael has a strong interest in evidence based practice and clinical education. He currently works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the operating theatre of a rural base hospital.

One page summary     Full report     Publication


"The key to unlocking what is in your head" Clinical Supervision for Midwives a Grounded Theory Study

Bev has worked across all areas of midwifery for over 25 years, supporting childbearing women and families and is currently a Clinical Midwifery Specialist at The Tweed Hospital. Having experienced the benefits of reflective clinical supervision in her own practice, Bev now gains satisfaction from helping other midwives with this important self care strategy.

One page summary    Full report     Publication

Bev Love

Michelle Manning, WNSWLHD

The experiences of rural residents in choosing to have dialysis in a hospital setting

Michelle is a Clinical Nurse Consultant for the renal network of Orange, Bathurst and Forbes. She has a BN with Distinction, GDipHlthAInfSys and GradCertAcuteCareNurs (Renal). Michelle is passionate about her role with special interest in the areas of pre-dialysis and dialysis access.

One page summary     Full report 

Michelle Manning

Elizabeth McCall, NNSWLHD

Do my feelings count?  Caring for people who present with alcohol related illness or injury to a small rural coastal hospital - the emergency nurse’s experience.

Elizabeth is the Nurse Manager at Byron District Hospital and has a Master’s degree in Health Sciences. Elizabeth is passionate about supporting nurses and providing evidence based nursing care to patients.

Elizabeth manages a ward that includes the provision of in-patient alcohol and drug withdrawal services. Her research focused on emergency nurses’ experiences of caring for alcohol intoxicated patients in the ED and what knowledge and support they require to implement alcohol brief intervention education as a public health initiative

One page summary     Full report     Poster


Rachel Pitt, HNELHD - Report High Commendation winner for 2012 Candidates

Doing what I have to do: Experiences of colorectal cancer in rural NSW

Rachel Pitt is a Nurse Practitioner in Manning Cancer and Palliative Services in Taree. She is passionate about equity of quality services for the rural cancer patient. She obtained her Masters of Nursing (NP) in 2012. Originally training in London in the 1980s she emigrated to Australia in 1999.

One page summary     Full report

Rachel Pitt 

Helen Stevens, HNELHD

Does the introduction of a standard paediatric observation chart (SPOC) and a targeted intervention improve pain assessment and management in children with long bone fracture in the emergency departments of a rural local health district?

Helen Stevens is a Paediatric Clinical Nurse Consultant for Hunter New England Local Health District and the Northern Child Health Network. Helen has worked with children all of her career and is passionate about the provision of high quality and evidence based health care for rural children.

One page summary     Full report

Helen Stevens

Lauren Vaughan, HNELHD

Unheard Voices: non-service using mothers perceptions of their adolescents' social and emotional wellbeing

Lauren is an Occupational Therapist with a Master’s degree in Adolescent Mental Health. She currently works in youth mental health promotion on the mid north coast of NSW. Lauren was prompted to focus her research on an area of difficulty in her clinical practice, engaging parents of adolescents. Lauren is committed to improving the mental health of adolescents to reduce the impact of mental illness and to ensure mental ill health is treated early.

One page summary     Full report

2011 completed research reports

Atosha Clancy, NNSWLHD

Keeping Things Flowing: Findings from participatory action research investigating the practice model for a rural dementia outreach service

Atosha Clancy is a social worker and team leader of the Dementia Outreach Service. She is an experienced clinician, providing individual and group services to people living with dementia and their families. Atosha chairs the far north coast Dementia Pathways Forum and works with the community services to build a cohesive sector response for people living with dementia. 

One page summary     Full report     Publication

Rae Conway, NNSWLHD - Best Report Award winner for 2011 Candidates

Give me something I can use: An exploration of how senior nurses and midwives, in a Regional setting, acquire and integrate coaching skills into routine practice: a grounded theory study

Rae has 30 years experience in health including clinical, educational, managerial and executive roles both in the public and private sectors. She has a Degree in Health Science (BHSc) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) majoring in Workforce Development. She has a strong commitment to the provision of quality care through improving the leadership capacity of nurses and midwives as evidenced by this study.

One page summary     Full report     Publication

Tracey Drabsch, WNSWLHD - Report High Commendation winner for 2011 Candidates

Rural Collaborative Guideline Implementation: Evaluation of a hub and spoke multidisciplinary team model of care for orthogeriatric inpatients: a before and after study of adherence to clinical practice guidelines

Tracey Drabsch is a senior physiotherapist in sub-acute care for the Western New South Wales Local Health District. She has extensive experience in rehabilitation and an interest in the provision of evidence based care for people in rural communities. Tracey is also an Adjunct Associate Lecturer at Charles Sturt University.

One page summary     Full report     Publication


Kim Edwards, formerly SNSWLHD

An exploration of patient experiences accessing an Emergency Department for a mental health crisis. An untold story.

Kim is a Clinical Nurse Consultant working in mental health services and currently based at the Mid North Coast LHD at Coffs Harbour. At the time of the project, Kim had a long career in mental health with Southern NSW LHD. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science (Nursing) and Master of Nursing (Mental Health – Nurse Practitioner) award. Kim is passionate about engaging supporting general hospital staff in learning and developing skills to assist people who may be experiencing mental health problems, and this project provided the opportunity to convey to others what its really like to come to an ED in crisis.

One page summary     Full report

Kim Edwards

Julie Hilditch, ISLHD

Medication discrepancies after discharge from a rural district hospital: What medications are our patients taking at home?

Julie is a pharmacist with over 30 years experience in the NSW public hospital system. At present she is Director of Pharmacy at Shoalhaven Hospital, Nowra. She has a long standing interest in medication management and patient education and particularly in the continuity of care from hospital to the home.

One page summary     Full report


Anne Hills, HNELHD

Are the chips really down? A repeat cross sectional study on the impact of the NSW Healthy Schools Canteen Strategy and its influence on school food service

Anne Hills is a Community Nutritionist working on the Lower Mid North Coast of HNE Health. Anne has worked in both a clinical and community setting and has implemented a wide range of successful community nutrition programs around prevention of childhood obesity and improving health outcomes in disadvantaged sectors. She has a special interest in school aged nutrition and is a previous board member of the Healthy Kids Association.



Deborah Hoban, WNSWLHD

Rural parents' experiences following their child's traumatic brain injury 

Deborah Hoban is a Paediatric Rehabilitation Coordinator With the Mid Western Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program located within Western NSW Local Health District

One page summary     Full report

Katherine McQuillan, WNSWLHD

Understanding how the experience of living with Hepatitis C impacts on accessing hepatitis C treatment for people who are clients of a rural opiate treatment unit

Katherine is the Hepatitis C clinical nurse specialist for Bathurst in the Western NSW Local Health District. Her main role is to improve access to treatment for people living with Hepatitis C, knowing there are high rates of hepatitis c in the area including the OTU. This research has helped her become more aware of the burden that a Hepatitis C diagnosis carries with it and will definitely change some of her work practices for this complex group of clients.

One page summary     Full Report


Monica Murray, WNSWLHD

Parkes Healthy Kids Study: BMI at pre-school immunisation and Healthy Kids Check, nurse and parent perception and level of concern

Monica Murray is the Manager of Community & Allied Health Services in Parkes & Forbes, which is part of the Western NSW Local Health District.

One page summary     Full report

Kim Riley, HNELHD

Does online learning click with nurses? A qualitative study

Kim Riley is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with the Aged Care and Rehabilitation Services Clinical Network in Hunter New England Area Health Service. Kim has extensive experience in rural health and she has qualifications in general nursing, midwifery, child and family health (Karitane), Critical Care, Public Health, Health Service Management and Gerontology.

One page summary     Full report     Appendices     Publication


Belinda Robinson, HNELHD

Is using telehealth to deliver a phase 2 Chronic Disease Rehabilitation program (education & exercise components) a feasible, appropriate and acceptable model of care?

Belinda Robinson is a Nurse Unit Manager at Inverell Community Health, Hunter New England Health District. She has 20 years’ experience working in Community Health and has a special interest in Chronic Disease Rehabilitation.

One page summary     Full report

Bridget Thompson, SNSWLHD

Hand Grip Strength (HGS) as an indicator of nutritional status in patients in a rural hospital 

Bridget Thompson is a senior dietitian in the Bega Valley Health Service. For 30 years she has worked in Bega in rural NSW – a job that allows her to specialise as a generalist dietitian and also follow other areas of interest, including renal, oncology, and nutritional support. She enjoys working with students and in 2005 completed a graduate certificate in Clinical Education (CSU).

One page summary     Full Report


Barbara Turner, FWLHD

Addressing the burden of disease: Is it possible to create and implement a structured Cardiac Rehabilitation program in a small rural village, which is effective and meets the expressed needs of clients.

Barbara has over 30 years’ experience in Health, and has recently been appointed as the Health Service Manager at Menindee Health Service in Far West LHD. Barbara has worked at Menindee for 11 years, and was previously the Nurse Practitioner for the service. Barbara trained as a Registered Nurse at the Broken Hill and District Hospital, is a Midwife, and has a Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing, a Bachelor of Social Science (Welfare), a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Practice (Rural and Remote), a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Management and Education, and a Masters of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner). Barbara is passionate about remote health and increasing access to services for people in remote areas.

One page summary     Full Report

 Barbara Turner

2010 completed research reports

Shelley Barlow, NNSWLHD

"Physiotherapy outpatient's chronic pain management ...... realizing the potential"

Shelley is a physiotherapist currently working in physiotherapy outpatients and transition care at Ballina Community Health. Shelley has an interest in chronic pain management going back 15 years. Her research has enabled her to combine both chronic pain management and physiotherapy outpatients to see what is happening in rural and regional services.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publications

Shelley Barlow

Mary Campbell, NNSWLHD

Are there barriers to rural families having discussions about their organ and tissue donation wishes?

Mary is a Clinical Nurse specialist for Organ and Tissue Donation for the NNSW LHD.  Raising awareness within the community and encouraging family discussions about organ donation is paramount to improving organ donation rates in Australia.  HETI has provided an opportunity to explore if barriers exist which prevent rural families from initiating this important conversation, thereby contributing to a body of evidence which did not previously exist.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Mary Campbell 

Cathie Cummins, MLHD

Bariatric Patient Journey

Cathie Cummins is an Occupational Therapist working in Work Health and Safety and Manual Handling coordination at Wagga Wagga Health Service in MLHD. She has worked in a range of areas and enjoyed challenges across community developmental disability services, staff development, tertiary education, injury management, aged care and manual handling.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Cathie Cummins

Leanne Fitzgerald, HNELHD & Dallas Waters, NNSWLHD

Evaluation of the Project:The Journey of Aboriginal Children and their Families throughout the Northern Child Health Network


Leanne Fitzgerald is a Child & Family Health Nurse at  Inverell Community Health in Hunter New England Local Health District.



Dallas Waters is an Aboriginal Health Worker at Maclean Community Health in Northern NSW Local Health District.

One page summary     Full report

Rowena Hockings, ISLHD

Single leg squats predict independent stair negotiation ability in older patients referred for a physiotherapy mobility assessment at a rural hospital

Rowena currently works as a Rehabilitation Physiotherapist in the Shoalhaven area on the NSW South Coast. The opportunity provided by HETI - Rural to conduct her own research project has enabled Rowena to combine her passion for research to improve rural physiotherapy clinical practices. She has completed a graduate certificate in clinical rehabilitation and is currently completing postgraduate studies in biostatistics.

Best Report Award winner for 2010 Candidates 

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Rowena Hockings

Dot Hughes, SNSWLHD

Nurses Experience of activating a rapid response system in general rural hospital wards

Dot is a Registered Nurse with over thirty years intensive care nursing, the majority of her experience has been gained in rural healthcare facilities. During the implementation phase of the 'Between the Flags' program she recognised a deficit of research around the use of rapid response systems by rural nurses.

One Page Summary     Full Report


Dot Hughes

Kay Joseph, MNCLHD

CLUBFOOT IN THE BUSH - The management and outcomes of infants who received their initial Ponseti casting for idiopathic congenital clubfoot in a regional centre compared to those treated exclusively at a tertiary Children's Hospital.  

Kay is a specialist paediatric physiotherapist lucky enough to live and work in gorgeous Coffs Harbour. She is passionate that regional children with special needs should have equitable access to health services, achieving the same outcomes as children in metropolitan centres. 

Report High Commendation for 2010 Candidates

One Page Summary     Full Report

Kay Joseph 

Louise Linke, WNSWLHD

"We Do What We Can" - Health Workers' Management of Incontinent Clients in Rural NSW

For the past 8 years Louise has been the working in continence and stomal therapy for the Western NSW LHD, based in Bathurst. In 2011 she was endorsed as a Nurse Practitioner.  She has worked for over 18 years in various  community health settings in rural and remote NSW and is passionate about working with rural clients to help  improve their quality of life.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Appendices

Louise Linke 

Chalta Lord, NNSWLHD

"To do or not to do? That is the question." An investigation into the enablers and barriers North Coast Area Health Service midwives encounter when integrating the skills and knowledge learnt in short courses and workshops into their clinical practice.

Chalta has been working as a Research & Evaluation Officer in the Northern NSW Health Promotion Unit for 7 years. This HETI scholarship has enabled Chalta to learn how to do qualitative research and she used this newfound knowledge to study knowledge transfer in midwives using Grounded Theory.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Chalta Lord 

Anne O'Neill, ISLHD

The role of practice nurses in their management of patients with Chronic Heart Failure in rural New South Wales and the potential for the expansion of this role

Anne has worked as Clinical Nurse Consultant for the Shoalhaven Heart Failure Service for the last 10 years. Her roles include coordinating a multidisciplinary group program and maintenance exercise program and liaisons with medical, nursing and allied health professionals across the continuum of care. Outcomes for those enrolled with the service include improved QOL and functionality with reduced presentations, admissions and length of stay to the acute sector.

One Page Summary     Full Report          

Anne O'Neill 

Steven Pitman, Mercy Health Albury

Evaluating the effectiveness of a self-directed learning package in increasing palliative care knowledge and confidence for health care workers in rural aged care facilities.

Steven Pitman is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with Mercy Health in Albury. Working with rural primary health care professionals, Steven has an interest in capacity building and education in regards to care of individuals at the end of life.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Steve Pitman 

Amanda Tutty, NNSWLHD

"Back in the usual normal world" - Barriers and enablers to exercise and community participation after stroke: the role of community health and support services

Amanda is a physiotherapist currently working at Grafton Base Hospital. Amanda has a background and interest in rehabilitation and stroke recovery.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Amanda Tutty 

Kate Willock, NNSWLHD

Screening Drug and Alcohol participants for mild cognitive impairment: why, how and does it matter?

Kate has worked in the drug and alcohol field since 1998, with qualifications of Dip App Science (Nursing), Ba Soc Sc (Mediation and Counselling), and post grad studies in Addictions. Her working background in the drug and alcohol field has been as a Registered Nurse, Youth Drug and Alcohol Counsellor, Adult Drug and Alcohol Counsellor and Senior Case Manager (current). Since 2001 she has been with the Magistrates early Referral into Treatment program (MERIT), a Court diversion treatment program. Kate believes fundamentally in change and the capacity of an individual can determine their change process...she also believes in the power of the human story... everyone has one...

One Page Summary     Full Report

Kate Willock

2009 completed research reports

Richard Christensen, Northern NSW LHD

Rural Allied Health: A Cross Sectional Survey on the use of evidence in day to day clinical practice

Richard has worked in health for 25 years, the majority of them in a rural Area Health service. His experience is primarily in physiotherapy and allied health roles. His interest lies in maximising effectiveness of health care delivery for patients, through the use of evidence, whether through clinical interventions, or through system and process implementation.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Richard Christensen

Kay Cope, HNELHD

Perceptions of Chronic Disease Self Management in rural primary health care and implications for routine clinical practice: a mixed methods study

Kay has worked in NSW Health since 1993 in health promotion, communication and practice development roles with an emphasis on health education. Her most recent practice development role has included several chronic disease self management projects, peer support and practice redesign.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Appendices

Kay Cope

Jean Clulow, WNSWLHD

Drug and Alcohol Educational Interventions for Pregnant Women in a Rural Setting: A Randomized Trial

Jean has worked in health for almost 40 years, initially as a Registered Nurse and Midwife and then commenced in Drug and Alcohol services in Western NSWLHD in Bathurst, and now in the Orange region.  Jean also has experiences in Infection Control, Immunization and Staff Health, Occupational Health & Safety and provided supportive, guidance for staff members returning safely to work.

Jean enjoys working with nurses and midwives to educate, support and provide clinical expertise when working with complex drug and alcohol presentations in both the acute care and maternity settings. Jean provides clinical advice and support for the D&A Consultation Liaison Service in Orange & Region and participates within the Senior Clinical Team to support the development of clinical governance for the Drug & Alcohol Service.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Jean Clulow 

Stephen Downs, MNCLHD

Balance and discharge destination outcomes for patients referred to physiotherapy at Bellingen and Macksville Hospitals

Stephen is a physiotherapist working for the Transitional Aged Care Service in the Bellingen and Nambucca areas. He is particularly interested in falls prevention and helping older people to remain living independently in the community. Stephen has previously worked for the Coffs Harbour aged care assessment team.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Stephen Downs

Tiahna Franks, NNSWLHD

Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Training Evaluation

Tiahna is an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse working at Lismore Base Hospital and has also recently been employed as one of the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer's for Lismore Base Hospital. She is a participant in the Rural Research Capacity Building Program which has assisted to fund this research project.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Tiahna Franks

Karen Gorzynska, North Coast Cancer Institute

The experience of men having androgen deprivation therapy for early stage prostate cancer in a regional setting

Karen is a Clinical Nurse Consultant working as a Cancer Care Coordinator at the North Coast Cancer Institute at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Karen Gorzynska 

Denise Hughes, NNSWLHD

Give Smokes the Flick - A qualitative evaluation of two quit smoking resources for Aboriginal pregnant women

Denise is a Health Promotion Research Officer working at the Population Health, Planning and Performance Directorate in Lismore. She has worked for NSW Health for approximately 15 years working her way up from administration/data entry to her current position. Denise has an interest in Aboriginal Health, but is very lucky to work on a variety of projects including Equity, Resilience, Tobacco, Alcohol, Physical Activity and Nutrition.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Denise Hughes

Elizabeth Mitchell, MLHD

Efficacy of leisure intervention groups in rehabilitation of people with an Aquired Brain Injury

Elizabeth currently works as a Physiotherapist and Rehabilitation Coordinator with the South West Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service. Prior to becoming a Physiotherapist she worked in a variety of occupations, including agriculture and adult education. She is a participant in the Rural Research Capacity Building Program which has assisted to fund this project.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Liz Mitchell

Helen Nixon, MNCLHD

"Don't mention the D word": Dementia and driving retirement in rural NSW, a qualitative case series.

Helen is an occupational therapist working in an aged care assessment team based in Coffs Harbour. Helen became interested in driving and dementia after completing post graduate training in occupational therapy driving assessment and rehabilitation. Helen holds a masters degree in health science (occupational therapy).

One Page Summary     Full Report     Poster

Helen Nixon

Idona Powell, NNSWLHD

Can you see me? Experiences of night shift nurses in regional public hospitals: A qualitative case study

Dona Powell is an Afterhours Nurse Manager at Grafton Hospital. Prior to working at Grafton, Dona worked in western NSW in a variety of management, teaching, research and nursing positions. Dona's qualifications include Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Nursing and Master's in Health Science Management. Dona has a long term interest in nursing workforce matters.

Dona is the Best Report Award winner for 2009 Candidates.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication

Idona Powell

Buck Reed, Ambulance NSW

Ambulance utilisation in serious health emergencies in rural health populations - measuring unmet need

Buck Reed is a paramedic based in Boggabri in rural northwestern NSW, and Rural Project Officer for the Ambulance Service of NSW. Buck is the first paramedic accepted to the Rural Research Capacity Building Program. Buck is undertaking completing a masters degree at UNE in Health Management and has research interests in rural ambulance models of care and human behaviour in health emergencies.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Buck Reed

Elizabeth Russell, CSU Wagga Wagga NSW

Smile Mum Study : Evaluation of 'Smile Mum'- a program to improve the oral health of pregnant women and reduce the risk of oral disease for them and their child.

Elizabeth has worked for most of her career in the area of public dental health as both a Dental Therapist and a Dental Hygienist. Her main contribution has been in providing dental treatment and targeted oral health programs to children of the rural area of Deniliquin. Her more recent work has involved oral health preventative and treatment strategies for at risk pregnant women and their families, further developed by the opportunities provided in the RRCPB. She has recently taken up a position at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga as a lecturer into the Bachelor of Oral Health Science.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Elizabeth Russell 

Esher Townsend, HNELHD

Evaluation of the NSW Indigenous Diabetic Foot Program for Health Workers whose primary role is with Aboriginal People in the Lower Mid North Coast

Esher emigrated to Australia in 2006 to set up a podiatry department at Aged Care & Rehabilitation Services in Taree after graduating from Southampton University in the UK. The last five and a half years has seen her focus on woundcare and the high risk foot. She has now left the HNE LHD to concnetrate on her private practice.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Esher Townsend

Jullie Williams, HNELHD

What are the qualitative experiences of clients with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder; who have completed the Manning Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 'Moving Forward' Stage 1 Program in the last two to five years?

Jullie Williams is a Registered Nurse - Clinical Nurse Consultant. Working in NSW Health for many years, both in Psychiatric and General Nursing settings, now focussed on Community Mental Health. Interests in Quality Care, Client Advocacy, Indigenous Mental Health & Wellbeing, Professional Aspects of Nursing Practice. HETI Research scholarship is a 'career' highlight.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Jullianne Williams 

Annmaree Wilson, ISLHD

Don't you know how you just made me feel? Patient's experience isolated in contact precautions for MRSA in a regional setting - A qualitative study

Annmaree is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Infection Management and Control Service and based in the Shoalhaven Hospital on the NSW south coast. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Health Science Nursing and Graduate Diploma Clinical Practice in Infection Control. Annmaree is a passionate patient advocate, and this project provided the opportunity to identify issues and improve the patients experience in isolation.

One Page Summary     Full Report

AnneMaree Wilson

2008 completed research reports

Tod Adams, SESIAHS

"Oxygen… you can't live without it": Perceptions of rural people using domiciliary oxygen

Tod Adams is employed as a Clinical Nurse Consultant and works in adult chronic respiratory medicine at Shoalhaven Memorial Hospital on the NSW south coast. She has recently been authorised by the Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW as a Nurse Practitioner. She holds a Masters in Nursing, and graduate certificates in aged care, coronary care and health management. She lives in the bush with her husband and two children and has an extensive bottle top collection.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Tod Adams

Maryann Anderson

"It's growing food but it's also growing community" : A qualitative study on the perceived effects of participating in a community garden

Maryann Anderson has been working in Health Promotion in Australia for more than 17 years. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in the Social Sciences, a Masters in Education, and more than 10 years of experience in policy and community development in the health arena, she migrated from the Philippines to Australia in 1993. In addition to her current work, she is passionate about supporting community-based initiatives that help build social inclusion and inclusiveness. The Rural Research Capacity Building Program has opened the gateway to a project that is all about social inclusion.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Maryann Anderson

Cath Bateman, GSAHS

Research into practice: volunteers improving person centred dementia care in a rural hospital

Cath is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of nursing experience and a passion for improving aged and dementia care. Since August 2007, Cath has worked in the position of Dementia Delirium (Acute) Clinical Nurse Consultant with Greater Southern Area Health Service and is completing her Research Masters studies.

One Page Summary     Appendicies     Full Report

Cath Bateman

Kerith Duncanson, HNEAHS

Feeding Healthy Food to Kids randomised control trial:  three month analysis

Kerith Duncanson is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian who works for HNE Health as a Community Nutritionist. Kerith is passionate about Childhood Nutrition and Aboriginal Health, and has conducted many and varied community based nutrition interventions in these settings.

Kerith is the winner of the Best Report Award for 2008 candidates.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication 1     Publication 2


Graham Fazio, HNELHD

The impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal men: a culturally respectful research examination

Graham Fazio (Faz) is a Health Promotion Officer with Hunter New England Local Health District. Faz joined the RRCBP in 2008, and then working with colleagues and community members a research study emerged, one with much broader scope than would usually be considered, but with the support of the Health District, HETI and most importantly the Aboriginal community, the momentum gathered. This research examines the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal men and belongs to the communities who shared their stories. The research team consisted of Lee Patterson, Greg Strong, Peter John Patterson, Garry Creighton, Ness Stewart, Peter O'Mara, Juanita Sherwood, Graham Fazio and Megan Freund.

One page summary

For the full report on this project, please email

Research team


Rachael O'Brien, HNEAHS

Rural speech pathologists' perceptions of working with allied health assistants: A pilot study

Rachael is the senior speech-language pathologist at The Maitland Hospital in Hunter New England Health. Her clinical experience spans paediatrics, acute stroke, disability, rehabilitation and education. Rachael is passionate about improving access to speech-language pathology for rural communities. The Rural Research Capacity Building Program has inspired her to continue on to a research higher degree through the University of Newcastle.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication

Rachael OBrien

David Schmidt, GSAHS

Rural casting services: what educational resources do clinicians prefer?

 David Schmidt is a Physiotherapist who has worked his entire career in rural and regional areas in NSW and Tasmania. During his time in the program David was manager of a department spanning hospitals and community health centres in the Bega Valley region of NSW.

 One Page Summary      Full Report

David Schmidt

Christian Tremblay, NCAHS

Trajectories of alcohol use for rural participants in a courtbased illicit drug program (MERIT)

Christian is a case manager employed by North Coast Area Health to deliver drug and alcohol services with the courtbased "Magistrate's Early Referral into Treatment" (MERIT) program in Lismore. From a nursing and social science background, and following a decade-long detour via disability services, Christian returned 8 years ago to complete a full circle and resume work in drug and alcohol. The opportunity provided by IRCST to conduct his own research project has focused Christian on issues specific to rural health. 

One Page Summary      Full Report

Christian Tremblay

Jocelyn Williams, Wagga Wagga Base Hospital

Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator (rt-PA) utilisation by rural clinicians in ischaemic stroke: A survey of barriers and enablers

Jocelyn Williams is an Accredited Practising Dietitian. She is employed by the Acute Stroke Unit in Wagga Wagga as the Specialist Stroke Dietitian. She also runs a private dietetic practise, Shaping Solutions Food Management. Jocelyn is particularly interested in stroke, including acute treatments and secondary prevention with lifestyle modification.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication 1     Publication 2

Jocelyn Williams

2007 completed research reports

Alison Dawes, GWAHS

A qualitative investigation of effectiveness and limitations of a telephone bereavement support service in rural and remote NSW

Alison is a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant with the Greater Western Area Health Service based at Lourdes Hospital and Community Services, Dubbo.

One Page Summary      Short Report  

Alison Dawes

Jenni Devine, GSAHS

User satisfaction and experience with a telemedicine service for diabetic foot disease in an Australian rural community

A tree change five years ago took Jenni to the Bega Valley. A podiatrist with 18 years experience, Jenni now works at the Bega, Pambula and Eden Community Health Centres. She has a special interest in the management of the High Risk Foot. In her spare time she enjoys cooking with organic ingredients, playing with her daughter and living the 'good life' in the country.

Jenni was the winner of the Best Poster Presentation award at the 2010 National Primary Health Care Research Conference.

Award Winning Poster     One page Summary     Full Report

Jenni Devine

Therese Dunn, North Coast Public Health Unit

Hospital Admissions for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions - North Coast area health service 2001 to 2006

Therese is the Health Information Manager with the North Coast Public Health Unit (covering both Northern NSW and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts) in Lismore. She has worked in the Public Health Unit in Lismore for more than 25 years.  Therese initially worked in general administration for the Public Health Unit before obtaining her degree in Information Technology and then moving into data management and analysis.  Her work focuses on turning data into health information to guide Public Health policy and planning.

One Page Summary     Short Report     Full Report

Therese Dunn 

Barbara Fetherston, GSAHS

Infant feeding practices of mothers attending a rural community health immunisation clinic with infants aged between six and eight months

Barbara is a Clinical Nurse Specialist Grade 2 in Women's Health and Child and Family Health for the Eurobodalla Community Health Service and is based at Batemans Bay Community Health Centre on the NSW South Coast.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Barbara Fetherston

Anne Field, WNSWLHD

Evaluation of the NSW IRCST 2007 Funding Program for Research, Service Development and Evaluation Projects

Anne has worked in rural health for more than 20 years, with positions including Accountant and Business Manager at Dubbo Base Hospital; Health Improvement Manager and Health Service Development Manager for the former Macquarie Area Health Service. Anne worked with NSW IRCST for four years and has recently commenced work with Western Local Health District.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Anne Field

Stuart Garland, NCAHS

Experiences of clients and carers who have accessed the Extended Aged Care in the Home packages in rural NSW

Stuart Garland is a Clinical Nurse Specialist based at Grafton where he has enjoyed his role as a community nurse for the past 25 years. Stuart's other passions are fishing, cooking, theatre and tinkering in his shed.

One Page Summary     Short Report     Full Report

Stuart Garland

Lynn Hopkinson, NCAHS

Integrated acute and community services increases capacity in a rural base hospital

Lynn Hopkinson is a Nurse Manager at Ballina Hospital.Her previous role was Area Manager, Clinical Services Redesign Program (CSRP) for North Coast AHS. Participation in the RRCBP funded by IRCST has provided Lynn the opportunity to evaluate one of the services commenced as part of CSRP.

One Page Summary     Full Report


Michelle Murray

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy & Gastrostomy Tube Complications at a Rural Referral Hospital: Aetiology & Outcomes

Michelle is a Clinical Dietitian working at Manning Rural Referral Hospital at Taree. She has worked in a number of clinical areas and has an interest in enteral/parenteral feeding, and quality improvement.

One Page Summary     Short Report     Full Report


Michelle Murray

Rachel O'Loughlin, GSAHS

Creative movement classes to music in a residential aged care facility

Rachel is a physiotherapist with over twenty years of clinical experience in a wide range of settings. Her interest in dance has always been present and she completed a BA in Dance in 1998. She enjoys exploring the region of overlap between the two disciplines. She currently works as a physiotherapist at Eurobodalla Community Health and dances when she can.

One Page Summary     Short Report     Full Report

Rachel OLoughlin

Judy Reinhardt, NCAHS

Reducing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus risk in women post Gestational Diabetes Mellitus through telephone motivational interviewing

Judy is the Area-based Diabetes Clinical Nurse Consultant at NCAHS; working in the field of diabetes education and management since 1986. Health promotion and disease prevention are key areas of interest for Judy. This project provided the opportunity to develop and implement a rural health promotion strategy suitable for women post gestational diabetes at risk of developing diabetes mellitus.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication

Judy Reinhardt

Shaun Seldon, HNEAHS

Adding Malnutrition Screening Tool scores to ward lists increases identification and treatment of older patients at risk of malnutrition

Shaun Seldon is a Dietitian in the Upper Hunter region of NSW where he supports the facilities of Muswellbrook, Scone, Merriwa, Murrurundi, Denman, Quirindi and Werris Creek. Shaun is the winner of the Best Report Award for 2007 candidates.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Shaun Seldon

Carolyn Slattery, HNEAHS

Effectiveness of a health system wide dissemination strategy in increasing clinician provision of NRT to smokers in a rural hospital

Carolyn Slattery is based at Narrabri and is a Program Manager with Population Health. Carolyn majored in Psychology, and has spent most of her 13 years in health working in Health Promotion.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Carolyn Slattery

Pamela Stanford, GWAHS

The effect of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy on patients with Borderline Personality Disorder in a rural setting of NSW

Pam is a Mental Health Nurse and has worked in many different roles in the Greater West Mental Health Service. Currently, Pam is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the community team. She has worked on two research projects and enjoys spending time with her family, bushwalking, reading, and good food and wine.

One Page Summary     Short Summary     Full Report

Pamela Stamford

Brenda Svensson, Catholic Health Care

Outback Breast Cancer Related Lymphoedema Interventions: do we get the same lymphoedema outcomes?

Brenda Svensson is an occupational therapist working at Lourdes Hospital and Community Health Service in Dubbo. She has worked in lymphoedema since 1991 and has an interest in early identification and intervention for breast cancer related lymphoedema, health education and lymphoedema service provision in rural and remote health settings.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication

Brenda Svensson

2006 completed research reports

Karla Calleja, Southern NSW LHD

Feeding the Family: "You gotta do what you're gotta do" - A pilot research study into the strategies used by low income mothers to feed themselves and their families

Karla has worked in the health arena for almost a decade in various roles including population health, health promotion and health service planning. She has a Master of Public Health and a keen interest in health inequities, in particular, food insecurity. Karla currently works for a regional district health service.

One Page Summary     Full Report 

Karla Calleja

Melissa Cumming, Far West LHD

Do Rural Primary Health care nurses feel equipped for palliative care? The professional and personal impact on rural and remote primary health care nurses who are required to provide palliative care as part of their generalist role.

Melissa Cumming is a Clinical Nurse Consultant Grade 3 in Cancer and Palliative Care based in Broken Hill for the Far West LHD and has a Masters Degree in Palliative Care. Melissa began her specialist nursing career in Palliative Care in Sydney in 1987 and moved to Broken Hill in 1989 where she started the local Palliative Care Service. In her nearly 24 years in Broken Hill, Melissa has provided direct and consultative Palliative Care Services and education to many rural and remote communities in the former GWAHS. She has been a passionate advocate for rural and remote palliative care, and her research project topic reflects her interest in rural and remote service provision.

One Page Summary     Full Report     Publication

Melissa Cumming 

Margaret Dalmau, GSAHS

Experiences of an Unsuccessful Ethical Application Process Involving Research on a Sensitive Topic Suicide in Older People in Rural Areas

Short Report     Full Report

Margaret Dalmau

Michelle Daly, NCAHS

To investigate a competency-based training program to manage alcohol withdrawal at selected hospitals in the NCAHS

Michelle is a Clinical Nurse Consultant based at Lismore. Her area of specialty is Drug and Alcohol. Michelle has published a paper on this topic with coauthors Dr. Stephen Kermode and David Reilly.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication

Michelle Daly

Lynn Davies, NCAHS

Seclusion Patterns within a NSW (Australia) Rural Area Health Service

Lynn is a Nurse Educator in the Coffs/Clarence Network. Both a clinical psychologist and a nurse, Lynn has had a long standing interest in research. Since completing her research as part of the Rural Research Capacity Building Program, Lynn has gone on to enrol in a PhD on this topic. Lynn also has a peer review article published.

One page summary     Full Report     Appendices

Lynn Davies

Rohena Duncombe, NCAHS

Rural Community Health Intake Study: Client Intake for Adult Counselling in Rural Community Health

Rohena is a Social Worker based at Byron Bay Community Health Centre. In addition to her role at NCAHS, Rohena also works part time with Charles Sturt University teaching in the Social Work and Human Services program.

One page summary      Full Report     Publication

Rohena Duncombe

Rosa Flaherty, NCAHS

Trialling of a 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Program in a Rural Australian Child Protection Setting

Rosa is a PANOC Psychologist based at Grafton Community Health Centre and is currently Acting Area Coordinator of the PANOC services for the NCAHS.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Rosa Flaherty

Annie Flint, GSAHS

Hearty Health for Rural Women

Annie Flint is the GSAHS Women's Health Coordinator and is based in Bateman's Bay on the NSW south coast. Annie is currently acting in the role of Early Intervention Coordinator.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Annie Flint

Claudia Giugni, GWAHS

A comparative study looking at the effectiveness of two different teaching methods used to improve the integration of the palliative approach into rural residential aged care facilities

During her time in the program Claudia worked as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care with the Greater Western Area Health Service.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Claudia Giugni

Margaret Hewetson, NCAHS

Professional and personal support needs and future careers of NSW Hospital Pharmacy Graduates

Margaret Hewetson was previously Director of Pharmacy at Lismore Base Hospital. Her interests are HR oriented and particularly in identifying the important recruitment and retention factors for pharmacists in rural areas in order to build the department. Previously she worked in UK as Director of Medicines Information for London and South East England. In that position she worked with NHS Direct the 24 hour nurse-led health helpline and led the development of the NHS National electronic Library for Medicines

One Page Summary     Full Report     Survey

Margaret Hewetson

Janelle Lymbery, HNEAHS

The experiences of rural osteoarthritic patients

Janelle is a Physiotherapist working at a rural hospital in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Her interests include optimizing the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions through services that are responsive to patients needs. Janelle believes that chronic conditions must be better managed in the future in order to cope with the needs of an ageing population.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Janelle Lymbery

Alison Mac Taggart, GSAHS

Partnerships for Healthier Communities: A study looking at the nature and extent of partnerships between a rural area health service and the local councils in the region

Alison Mac Taggart is currently Manager of Partnerships and Research with the Greater Southern Area Health Service. Fostering effective partnerships to build capacity to address social determinant and health equity issues is a key focus of her work.

One Page Summary     Short Report     Full Report     Appendices

Alison MacTaggart

Karen Saunders, NCAHS

Does the use of the 'Pressure Sore Prediction Score' prompt nurses to initiate preventative strategies?

Karen is a Clinical Nurse Specialist based at Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Karen has recently been involved in a project aimed at reducing hospital admissions for residents of aged care facilities.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Karen Saunders

Debbie Schwebel, NCAHS

Nurse Executives: Internal and External Influences in the Management of small rural hospitals

Debbie is the Area Nurse Manager of policy and evidence based practice and is based at Port Macquarie. Debbie has experience and qualifications in both nursing and management and has worked in rural NSW for nine years.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Debbie Schwebel

Christine Stanford, NCAHS

The needs of rural Lung Cancer patients: Research study into the needs (met and unmet) of patients diagnosed with a primary lung cancer who reside within the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen or Nambucca Regions of the North Coast Area Health Service

Christine Stanford is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Oncology/Haematology at the North Coast Cancer Institute, Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

One Page Summary     Full Report

Christine Stanford

Leanne Wright, NCAHS

They just don't like to wait: a comparative study of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who do not wait for treatment or discharge themselves against medical advice from rural emergency departments

Leanne is a Nurse Practitioner who works in the Emergency Department and has worked in Kempsey, Wauchope and Port Macquarie during the period of this study.

One Page Summary      Full Report     Publication 1     Publication 2

Leanne Wright

Rhonda Wilson, HNEAHS

Barriers to the early identification & intervention of early psychosis among young rural males

Rhonda's interest in researching was sparked during her previous role as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Hunter New England Health where she was the Early Psychosis Project Officer for the Northern region of HNEH. The research project commenced as part of the RRCBP and has led to Rhonda's recent award of a Masters of Nursing (Hons) at the University of New England. Rhonda is now a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at UNE, and continues research and practice development collaborations with her colleagues in HNEH. She is involved in a number of other research projects. She is currently embarking on a PhD.

One Page Summary     Full Report     PowerPoint

Rhonda Wilson