Current and recent projects

Our priority is to conduct research and evaluation that can positively impact the health, study and workforce outcomes of rural communities, with an emphasis on communities within our Three Rivers footprint.

Aligned with the five Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) Program strategic areas and the Charles Sturt Research Narrative, our research impact goals are to:

  • develop and research innovative health service practices which lead to healthier rural communities
  • research education innovation for current and future rural health professionals to support a highly informed and skilled rural health workforce
  • conduct research focusing on policy and practices that contribute to building health and resilience in rural communities.

To do this, we’re collaborating with fellow rural-based researchers, community members and organisations on a broad range of projects as leads and co-researchers.

Our current and recent research projects

  • Projects we are leading

    Co-designing an open access, online Telehealth course: What did we learn?
    This project aims to describe and assess the design, implementation, and uptake of our open access Telehealth course. Members of the multidisciplinary Telehealth Curriculum Working Group will be surveyed about the co-design process, and administrative data will be analysed. (2020 –)
    Lead: Dr Jenny Cox

    Community perspectives on regional resettlement, health and wellbeing for people with refugee-backgrounds in Wagga Wagga
    Project co-produced with community researchers with refugee-backgrounds and explores experiences of regional resettlement and health and wellbeing issues among refugee background people in Wagga (2019-20).
    Lead: Professor Deb Warr

    Continuity of care in rural Australia: Setting the future for rural midwifery
    This is a doctoral research project, supervised by Dr Sally De-Vitry Smith, Dr Marjorie Atchan and Professor Deborah Davis. Alicia hopes the findings of her research will help improve recruitment and retention of midwives' in rural and remote Australia to enable safe, women-centred care in these areas while improving the midwives experience (2019 –).
    Lead: Alicia Carey

    Evaluation of the Australian Men’s Shed Association’s ‘Spanner in the Works?’ health promotion and placement experience at the Henty Machinery Field Days
    An evaluation of the delivery of the Men’s Shed Associations Spanner in the Works health promotion at the Henty Field Days 2019.The study examines indicators for men's health and students' experiences of this innovative clinical placement model (2019-20).
    Lead: Dr Elyce Green

    Evaluation of the Little Health Teams clinics: community team-based care
    Exploration of an innovative, place-based model for providing integrated primary care in a small rural community (2018-20).
    Lead: Dr Caroline Robertson and Dr Pip Southwell

    Evaluation of the Three Rivers Placement Model
    An ethnographic research study investigating the learning experiences of students on placement in underserved communities and with vulnerable populations. The sustainability of this model and preparing students for practice within this model will be the focus of research outcomes (2020 –).
    Lead: Dr Sarah Hyde

    Expanding and sustaining clinical placements for pre-registration allied health students in rural Australia
    This is a doctoral research projects supervised by Dr Narelle Patton, Associate Professor Caroline Robinson and Dr Kristy Robson. The project explores the barriers, enablers and sustaining factors from the perspectives of health service managers and allied health clinicians on rural clinical placement provision. The findings will generate a deeper understanding of how clinical placements can be expanded and sustained for pre-registration allied health students in rural Australia (2019 –).
    Lead: Brent Smith

    From undergraduate to newgraduate to postgraduate: what influences early career nurses to practice in rural areas?
    A mixed methods study examining the pre- and post- newgraduate year attitudes and experiences of rural newgraduate nurses from Western NSW LHD and Murrumbidgee LHD (2019 –).
    Lead: Dr Elyce Green

    MyPlacement Project
    Through the MyPlacement project, we’re learning more about the circumstances and experiences of students doing rural clinical placements in nursing, dentistry and allied health. From 2020, we are now asking students who have completed a clinical placement within the Three Rivers' footprint for a health profession course to complete a single, post-placement survey of their experiences (2018 –)
    Lead: Dr Claire Seaman

    Online resources to support regional families with children who are not meeting developmental milestones to engage in cross-generational physical activity
    This study is a collaboration with Royal Far West. Informed by systematic reviews, the study will coproduce and pilot-test online resources to support regional families to engage in cross-generational physical activity (2020 –).
    Lead: Dr Kate Freire

    Pastoral Care Project 
    An exploration of academics' experiences in delivering social and emotional support to diverse students. This project was funded by a Charles Sturt University Return to Research Grant.
    Lead: Dr Pip Southwell

    Pathways through tertiary health study
    Analysing 20 years of Charles Sturt student progress data, this study seeks to identify pathways into health professions courses, student progress within enrolled courses and the factors associated with successful completion. Insights will provide generalised insights for supporting students to complete tertiary studies and inform Three Rivers URDH strategies (2019 –).
    Lead: Dr Pip Southwell

    Scoping review of the oral health services that are offered in rural and remote NSW
    This review seeks to understand the oral health of Indigenous Australians living in rural and remote communities. It examines approaches used to address the inequities between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians living in rural and remote communities and will report on enablers and barriers to the success of these approaches (2020).  
    Lead: Jayne Lawrence

    Student support on placement and shared placement model scoping review
    These scoping reviews examine how best to engage and support students during rural health placements as well as opportunities shared placement arrangements. Findings will inform Three Rivers’ work in supporting high-quality rural placement opportunities (2020).
    Lead: Cathy Rogers

    Systematic review of placement impacts
    This review examines the evidence on the impact of rural clinical placement on students’ intention to practice rurally or subsequent employment in rural health. It seeks to identify well-evidenced factors and gaps in current knowledge in this area to inform our future research and work (2020 –).
    Lead: Dr Claire Seaman

    ‘Walkin About’: appraising a health and well-being program for Aboriginal people
    In collaboration with the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS), this project appraises a health and well-being program developed and led by Aboriginal people to support with living with chronic disease to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles (2019-20).
    Leads: Professor Deb Warr, Dr Kate Freire

  • Projects we are supporting as co-researchers

    Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Nursing and Midwifery workforce mentoring program in a rural/regional NSW Local Health District

    This project employs the Indigenous methodology of yarning and hermeneutic phenomenology to examine the experiences of mentees and mentors in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District's pilot Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Mentoring Project (2019 – 20).

    Lead: Dr Jessica Biles, School of Nursing Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University

    ‘Listening to Voices’ – resources for students

    Listening to Voices' is an online resource that presents curated theatre performances recreating lived experiences of serious mental illness. The aim of the resource is to increase students' understanding of mental illness and reduce stigma towards people living with mental illness. This project uses a pre- and post- survey design to explore students' responses to participating in the online resource (2020-21).

    Lead: Dr Tracey Parnell, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University

    Living with Pain – Wagga Wagga

    This study evaluates a group program for humanitarian migrants experiencing chronic pain, and which is developed and run by Australian Red Cross. It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of humanitarian migrants living with chronic pain, and increase our understanding of how humanitarian migrants conceptualise chronic pain (2020-21).

    Lead: Dr Ian Skinner, School of Community Health

    Reducing stigma and discrimination for people with serious mental health issues

    This consultancy involves a partnership between researchers from the University of Melbourne, Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health. The study will identify key components for a national strategy to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with serious mental health issues and involves interviews and focus groups with diverse stakeholders, including service providers, advocates, carers and people with lived experience from across Australia (2020-21).

    Lead: Associate Professor Nicola Reavley, University of Melbourne

    Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on perceptions, health beliefs, protection motivations and the impact on prevention measures in rural and remote western NSW during the outbreak

    This project will provide insights into the interaction between the characteristics of individuals in the region, their engagement in information seeking behaviours and their choice to engage in preventative health behaviours. Insights will ensure the relevance of the NSW health sector’s emergency response strategies to meet specific needs of rural, remote and Aboriginal communities (2020 –).

    Lead: Professor Oliver Burmeister, School of Computing & Mathematics, Charles Sturt University; Dr Jodie Kleinschafer, School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University.

Details of outputs from these research projects is available.

Our research outputs

Live, study, work in Rural Australia