School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Research Project Topics

Students can elect to take a Research Project (PHCM9148) as part of their coursework degree. The project comprises an in-depth study of a public health, health management or international health issue or topic. The project may be in the form of a small-scale research study, a case study, a program evaluation or a report on field placement. Students wishing to enrol in a project must obtain permission.

Available Research Projects will be listed below. If you are interested in undertaking one of the research projects listed please contact the academic member of staff directly.

Available Research Projects


Quality appraisal in systematic review: Creating a methodological tool with Dr Reema Harrison

There is growing recognition of the benefits of including diverse types of evidence within systematic reviews in healthcare. A more inclusive view of research is particularly important in the healthcare domain where some complex aspects of healthcare may not be readily measured. The project student will be supported to synthesise studies that have used the QATSDD tool, undertake a critical analysis and develop recommendations to inform the development of the user manual for version two. The student output that will be assessed is a report that includes a critical analysis of the methodological tool and recommendations for enhancing the tool to inform the revisions and user manual for version two. The student will also have authorship on a manuscript for publication of the updated methodological tool.

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Alcohol and Harm Minimisation: Students’ Attitudes to Harm Minimisation Messages with Dr Rose Leontini

There is a growing body of work on alcohol use by undergraduate university students in Australia and comparable countries with evidence that this cohort engages in higher levels of episodic drinking than their non-university peers. In a large qualitative Australian study conducted between 2011-2014, students across two different universities and seven university residential colleges were interviewed about their alcohol use and harm minimization practices. This part of the project was important for understanding how young people interpret messages on harm minimization in relation to alcohol use, and the socio-cultural and ethical dimensions of harm minimization messages used to target particular population groups.

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How Effective is the Okanagan Charter in Promoting Health in Universities and Colleges Settings? A Systematic Review with Dr Maria Agaliotis

The overall aim of this project is to systematically identify and review enhanced health, wellbeing, and resilience programs in a tertiary teaching environment and critically appraise the effectiveness of these programs. If you are interested in undertaking this special research project for Semester 1 or 2, 2017, please contact Maria Agaliotis.

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Healthy Airport with Katie Hirono

To present the current state-of-play, future directions and recommendations for Healthy Airports in order to inform Health’s input to the current development of the Western Sydney Airport and future decisions related to the Western Sydney Airport, and/or development of other airports both in Australia and internationally.

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Healthy Airport: Evaluation of Transpacific Partnership Agreement Health Impact Assessment with Katie Hirono

This project will evaluate process and impact of HIA and develop recommendations for future HIAs of high level international agreements. The main role of the student researcher will be to work with the research team to develop an interview schedule, carry out interviews with key stakeholders, transcribe and carry out qualitative anaylisis to identify impacts of the HIA on stakeholders and trade negotiations, how these impacts occurred and what contextual factors influenced this.

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Case study comparison of the counterfactual use of health impact assessment in health service planning - what happens if an HIA isn’t conducted? with Dr Ben Harris-Roxas

This project focuses on case studies of two regional health services in New South Wales, Australia, that developed similar obesity plans. In both cases it was one of the first times that both services had developed plans that crossed multiple service streams, encompassing obesity prevention, weight management services and even bariatric surgery interventions.

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Exploring the personal and professional impact of adverse events and medical errors on anaesthetists in Australasia with Dr Reema Harrison

Systematic reviews of the impact of adverse events and errors on health professionals reveal common concerns internationally but data of experiences amongst health professionals in Australasia is lacking. A 20-item online survey has been conducted with the membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists (ANZCA) to understand anesthetists’ experiences of being involved in a medical error, near miss or adverse event, the degree to which organisational learning currently occurs and how they can be better supported with these experiences.

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Managing medical errors: promoting learning over blame amongst health professionals in Vietnam with Dr Reema Harrison

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam implemented an organisational incident reporting policy for hospitals across the country in 2013. This system has not been implemented effectively, with most errors and adverse events still not being reported four years on. No data has yet been gathered from staff about reasons for not utilising reporting systems or of their experiences of errors of adverse events. Using a validated instrument (refined for the Vietnamese health setting), we have collected data from over 500 physicians and nurses in Vietnam regarding the experiences of adverse events and the culture of learning that currently exists. This data will form the basis of a larger project to enhance the implementation of the organisational reporting policy in Vietnamese hospitals.

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General practice on a smoking cessation with Professor Robyn Richmond

Would you like to join our research team in a before/after study designed to assess the effectiveness of the Webquit intervention to reduce smoking and improve depression among general practice patients? We are enrolling patients who are smokers with depression who attend general practices in metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

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