Several studies being conducted by researchers within Public Health are focused on improving the delivery of effective health services to different populations.
Researchers in the group are currently examining the effectiveness of a multifaceted, systems-based intervention designed to improve cancer survivors’ psychosocial wellbeing by implementing a patient-centred approach to care. The innovative system will integrate cancer treatment with best practice strategies to address emotional support, education, information resources, and symptom management needs.
Members of the Public Health group are working in partnership with the Stroke Foundation and Hunter New England Local Health District to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the ‘Enable Me’ portal. ‘Enable Me’ is a cutting-edge web-based consumer portal aimed at supporting stroke survivors and their carers through the recovery process.
Another project that members of the Public Health group are working on is looking at the impact of client, intervention and system variables on alcohol treatment outcomes.
Public Health researchers are also contributing to a number of different projects across various healthcare domains including improving advance care planning, end of life care, and medical decision making.
Monitoring of health service use and its effectiveness in improving people’s health is undertaken using data from large longitudinal studies linked to administrative data sources. Members of the Public Health group collect and analyse these sorts of data to determine major pressures on the health care system. These demands include hospital services, tests, GP and specialist visits and medications.
The group also assess the impact of new services and systems, including how they are used, their effect on peoples’ health, and the extent to which they can be accessed by everyone who needs them.
In collaboration with colleagues from the Hunter New England Local Health District researchers are investigating the professional needs of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in the regional and rural health workforce. Making up one third of the Australian medical workforce this research addresses a lack of current knowledge about the professional needs of this integral component of the medical workforce and health system in Australia.