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Dr Amy Waller

Dr Amy Waller

What are your research interests?

  • Improving the quality of care received by people at the end of life
  • Addressing the unmet physical and psychosocial needs of people with chronic disease and their families 
  • Understanding the barriers and enablers to delivering best practice health care

Why did you get into research?

I have seen the unnecessary stress and suffering that can result when people receive care they do not want, or are called on to make decisions about care without knowing what their loved one would have chosen. Everyone should have the opportunity to plan ahead and put things in place so that their wishes will be known and acted on if they cannot express these choices themselves later on.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Building a system of care that preserves people's dignity and ensures that their last days reflect their personal preferences.    

Brief profile

Dr Waller's research focuses on investigating the state of current practice in end-of-life decision making across health care settings, particularly the extent to which end-of-life care planning is utilised and the magnitude of the discord between the views of patients, families and health care providers. Her research will help to inform how people's  wishes regarding end-of-life care can be incorporated into health care policy and clinical service, thereby aiding patients, families, clinicians and health care systems.

Dr Waller works with the Health Behaviour Research Group located within the HMRI building at the John Hunter Hospital campus. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and commissioned reports in the field and has presented at many prestigious national and international conferences. She has been awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA), Canadian Institute of Health Research PORT Fellowship, NHMRC PhD scholarship, and a SACRI Post-doctoral Trainee Excellence Award.

She was one of only 40 participants (270 applicants worldwide) at the Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research, which provides access to international leaders in implementation and dissemination research.  Dr Waller is also a member of the International Psycho-oncology Society and Australian Psycho-oncology Cooperative Research Group. She is currently supervising three PhD candidates at the University of Newcastle.

Future Focus

My goal is to generate interventions that can overcome barriers to the delivery of optimal end of life care, and ultimately improve the outcomes of patients and their families.