education research workforce


Research Overview

The UCRH is focused on building research leadership and capacity within the region. We actively engage in the area’s rural health priorities including policy implementation and indigenous health. Our centre for rural health research seeks to engage policy makers, managers and clinicians in our research activities. The UCRH’s program of work integrates research around rural health reform utilising the skills and experience of our established research team, whilst encouraging capacity building by supporting local clinician involvement in the practice of research. The current national and jurisdictional policy reform environment and our shared research agenda allows us all to contribute to improving health. Our research program currently involves partners and collaborators across 4 states and territories, as well as internationally.

Our research streams and current projects (with the lead UCRH researcher identified) include:


Aboriginal Health 

Stream Leader: Dr Shawn Wilson

Chronic Care Service Enhancements program evaluation project. 
Funding: NSW Health 
CIA: Sanson-Fisher, University of Newcastle
Staff: Passey (CIF)

Supporting Mums to Quit: Smoking intervention research for pregnant rural Aboriginal women.     
Funding: Department of Health and Ageing 
Staff: Passey (CIA), Stirling.

Improving counselling outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 
through action research and formal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.      
Funding: Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Research Development program; UCRH 
Staff: Bennett-Levy, Stirling, Wilson.

Profiling health and disease in the Northern NSW Aboriginal Community
Funding: North Coast General Practice Training; UCRH
Staff: Douglas

Strategies to improve uptake of Home Medicines Reviews in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.    
Staff: Swain, Supervisor: Barclay

Exploring the experiences and perceptions of Aboriginal haemodialysis patients in regional NSW. 
Funding: Ian O’Rourke Scholarship, Clinical Excellence Commission     
PhD: Rix; Supervisors: Barclay, Stirling, Wilson


Chronic Disease 

Stream Leader: Dr Megan Passey

Severe chronic disease management - patient perspectives on avoiding hospital admission 
Funding: NSW Institute of Rural Clinical Services and Teaching
Staff: Morgan (CIA), Dunn (CIF), Heathcote, Longman, Passey, Rix, Singer. 

The Health Improvement and Prevention Study (HIPS). 
Funding: NHMRC grant 
CIA: Harris, University of NSW;  
Staff: Passey (CIE), Rix.

Long term economic impacts of disease on older workers to 2030: costs to government and individuals and opportunities for intervention.      
Funding: ARC linkage grant
CIA: Schofield, University Sydney;
Staff: Passey (CIB)

Complementary therapies in primary health care: a pilot scoping study. 
Funding: Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Research Development program
Staff: Singer, Passey.


Maternal and Child Health 

Stream Leader: Prof Lesley Barclay 

The development of a composite index of need for regional maternity services: The Australian Regional Birthing Index 
Funding: NHMRC grant
Staff: Barclay (CIA), Morgan (CIC), Donoghue (CIF), Rolfe, Longman.

The 1 + 1 A healthy start to life. Targeting the year before and the year after birth in Aboriginal children in remote areas.      
Funding: NHMRC strategic award
Staff: Barclay (CIA), Bar-Zeev, Gao, Josif, Steenkamp.

Effects of a midwife-led counselling intervention to improve postpartum women's mental health.    
Funding: NHMRC grant
CIA: Gamble, Griffith University;
Staff: Barclay (CID)

Babies of remote dwelling mothers and Special Care Nurseries 
Staff: Donoghue, Barclay

Making population-level data count for remote-dwelling Aboriginal mothers and infants.      
Funding: NHMRC scholarship
PhD: Steenkamp; Supervisor: Barclay

An analysis of maternal health services for remote dwelling Aboriginal women and infants from the Top End of Aust.
Funding: NHMRC scholarship
PhD: Bar-Zeev; Supervisor: Barclay

Remote maternal infant health care; an evaluation of a health system improvement. 
Funding: NHMRC scholarship
PhD: Josif; Supervisor: Barclay

The influence of networking on outcomes in the nurseries of Australia.  
Funding: NHMRC scholarship 
PhD: Donoghue; Supervisor: Barclay


Mental Health

Stream Leader: A/Prof James Bennett-Levy

Development of an action research design and implementation plan for a men’s specific low intensity psychological support service.
Funding: beyondblue 
Staff: Bennett-Levy (CIA), Singer. 

A randomised trial of low intensity intervention model within a university health service to improve the mental health of students.      
Funding: Australian Rotary Health grant 
CIA: Stallman, University Queensland; Staff: Bennett-Levy (CIB)

Training for the Australian rural and remote mental health workforce in evidence-based therapies: the creative use of new technologies.          
Funding: Department of Health Ageing
Staff: Bennett-Levy (CIA)

Living in a rural community: a longitudinal study of the course and outcome of mental health and wellbeing. 
Funding: NHMRC grant 
CIA: Kelly, University Newcastle; Fuller: CIG

Best Practice in early intervention (BEAT) – assessing and treating depression and substance misuse for remote dwelling Aboriginal Australians.  
Funding: beyondblue and Northern Territory Department of Health and Families 
CIA: Nagel, Charles Darwin University;
Staff: Barclay (CIB)


Social and Environmental Health

Stream Leader: A/Prof Geoff Morgan 

Understanding and ameliorating the human health effects of exposure to air pollution: from knowledge to policy and public health practice. 
Funding: NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence
CIA: Marks, University of Sydney, 
Staff: Morgan (CIH)

Health and Heat Waves study to quantify the effects of heat waves on mortality and hospital admissions in NSW.      
Funding: NSW Health
Staff: CIA: Morgan, Heathcote, Rolfe.

Spatiotemporal modelling of cancer incidence, survival and mortality.      
Funding: the CRC for Spatial Information
CIA: Mengersen, Queensland University of Technology; 
Staff: Morgan (CIB) 

Understanding the health effects of landscape burning and biomass smoke in Australian towns and cities. 
Funding: Australian Research Council
CIA: Bowman, University Tasmania;
Staff: Morgan (CIC), Heathcote.

Community response to Avian influenza, Bali/ Lombok
Funding: World Health Organisation 
CIA: Adiputra, Univ Udayana, Indonesia; 
Staff: Birden (CIE)

Adolescent rural cohort study of hormones health, education, environments and relationships – ARCHER Study.  
Funding: NHMRC grant
CIA: Steinbeck, University Sydney;
Staff: Morgan (AI)

Agreement between pharmaceutical claims data and self-reported medicines use amongst a national sample of older Australian women. 
CIA: Dolja-Gore, 
Staff: Pit (CIB)

The SEEF project - Neighbourhood ‘walk-ability’ and its effects on obesity, physical activity and mental health in older persons.  
Funding: NHMRC grant
CIA: Bauman, University Sydney;
Staff: Morgan (AI)

Environmental correlates of physical activity, obesity and psychosocial distress 
PhD: Mayne; Supervisor: Morgan

The effects of individual level and neighbourhood level socioeconomic factors on birth weight in NSW. 
PhD: Taylor; Supervisor: Morgan



Stream Leader: Dr Sabrina Pit

An evaluation of existing vertically integrated training practices at North Coast General Practice Training. 
Funding: GP Education and Practice
CIA: Ahern, North Coast GP Training; 
Staff: Pit (CIC)

Evaluation and further development of the Farm Health and Safety Toolkit for Rural General Practitioners.
Funding: Rural Industries Research Development Corporation 
CIA: Perkins, University Sydney;
Staff: Passey (CID) 

Ageing well and productively: pathways to healthy workforce participation and care giving and the impact of medications and health care on healthy workforce involvement and care giving.     
Funding: NHMRC fellowship
Pit; Supervisor: Morgan 

Rural Allied Health Assistants – supervision and delegation.
Funding: Rural Health Continuing Education Grant (DoHA)
Staff: Keane (CIA)

Systematic review: increasing response rate in general practice. 
Funding: University of Sydney
Staff: Pit (CIA) 

Prolonging working life amongst rural older GPs: developing strategies and instruments
Funding: University Sydney 
Staff: Pit (CIA), Hansen

Thriving in transition
Funding: Aust Learning Teaching Council
CIA: Harris, University of Tasmania;
Staff: Barraclough

Nimbin Integrated Services project evaluation 
Funding: Department of Premier and Cabinet
Staff: Barclay (CIA), Longman (CIB), Gao(CI) Barraclough (CIC)

The role of the primary health care Nurse Practitioner in rural and remote areas of Australia 
PhD: Barraclough, Supervisor: Barclay

Professionalism in medical education as delivered in intensive clinical experiences.  
PhD: Birden

Recruitment and retention of the rural allied health workforce 
PhD: Keane