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Improving Outcomes for Adults with Chronic Health Conditions

At the Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research, we undertake innovative research to develop knowledge, evaluate effectiveness and implement change in healthcare through interventions, treatments and knowledge to transform and shape policy and practice.

Innovative care delivery and person centered outcomes in:

  • Self-management;
  • Families;
  • Palliative care;
  • eHealth;
  • Mental Health; and
  • Clinical discovery.

Please view the sections below for a list of our projects and publications.

The Impact of a Recovery Program on the Mental Health Outcomes of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Survivors: An Intervention Study



Those who experience a critical illness/ event requiring admission to an intensive care unit frequently experience physical and psychological complications as a direct result of their critical illness/ event and intensive care unit experience. Complications, if left untreated, can affect the quality of life of survivors and impact upon health care resources. Explorations of potential interventions to reduce the negative impact of an intensive care unit experience have failed to establish an evidence based intervention.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a web based intensive care recovery program on the mental well-being of intensive care survivors and to determine if it is a cost effective approach.


One hundred and sixty-two patients that survived an intensive care unit experience will be recruited and randomised into one of two groups. The intervention group will receive access to the web based intensive care recovery program, ICUTogether, two weeks after discharge (n=81) and the control group will receive usual care (n=81). The ICUTogether web based platform will provide information about health and wellbeing during recovery and advice about exercise, sleep and nutrition in this population. It will also provide information on the recovery process and how to seek professional help. Mental well-being will be measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, The Impact of Events Scale-Revised and the EQ-5D at three time points (2 weeks, 6 months and 12 months post discharge). Analysis will be conducted on an intention to treat basis using regression modelling. Covariates will include baseline outcome measures, study allocation (intervention or control), age, gender, length of intensive care unit stay, Apache III score, level of family support and hospital readmissions. Participants’ evaluation of the mobile website will also be sought at 12 months post discharge. A cost utility analysis at 12 months will be conducted from a societal perspective and will include costs incurred by individuals as well as health care providers.


This study will evaluate a novel intervention in a group of intensive care unit survivors. The findings from this study will inform a larger study and the wider debate about an appropriate intervention in this population.

Prescription for Life: An Interactive Educational Resource



A diagnosis of Younger Onset Dementia (YOD) requires specific care tailored to the individual and the family. Dementia care workers often do not have the skills and experience necessary to offer this care within the residential and community environment. The production of a technical resource providing integrated information and facilitating access to training for dementia care workers of people with YOD, would create a flexible and accessible learning package. This interactive resource would accommodate patient’s desires to individually tailored, customer centred services, while providing a central point of information for dementia care workers currently navigating numerous systems.


To implement a cost effective educational resource to increase knowledge and improve care for staff caring for those with YOD as well as to challenge dementia care worker’s attitudes and encourage a wellness approach in YOD care.


The project consists of four phases: First the development of a training needs analysis through an expert panel, and a survey of participants with the training needs analysis. Second, identification of pilot sites, and complete version one of the resource. Third, pilot version one at the selected pilot sites and analyse the data from the surveys, and finally, rollout the final version of the resource as a publicly available tool. The final educational resource consists of an interactive electronic book that can be accessed by any care provider of those living with YOD. Ongoing quantitative research consisting of a qualtrics survey embedded in the educational resource will enable data to be collected following implementation of the resource.


An interactive educational resource was collaboratively developed by university and clinical personnel for employed carers of persons living with younger onset dementia (YOD) cared for in the home and residential setting. The resource contains video links, audios from experts in the field and offers a wellbeing approach to YOD care. The final product “Prescription for Life” is now available as an online resource nationally and internationally. A paper on the implementation has been accepted for publication in Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice (Nov 2017).

Access the toolkit:


  • Alexander, S.J., Pillay, R., & Smith, B. (2018). A systematic review of the experiences of vulnerable people participating in research on sensitive topics. International Journal of Nursing Studies.
  • Davies, H. et al (2018). A comparison of compliance in the estimation of body fluid status using daily fluid balance charting and body weight changes during continuous renal replacement therapy. Australian Critical Care.
  • De Jong, G., Meijer, E., Schout, G. & Abma, T. (2018). Involving undergraduate nursing students in participatory health research: Implications from the Netherlands. Journal of Professional Nursing.
  • De Jong, G., Schout, G. & Abma, T. (2018). Understanding the process of Family Group Conferencing in public mental health care: A multiple case study. British Journal of Social Work.
  • De Jong, G. & Schout, G. (2018). Evaluating Family Group Conferencing: Towards a meaningful research methodology.
  • Gordon, D.G. & De Jong, G. (2018). Gaps in the ice: Methamphetamine in Australia; its history, treatment and ramifications for users and their families. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.
  • Schout, G. & De Jong, G. (2018). Nursing and the emergence of egoless care: A discussion on social engineering in mental health care. Issues In Mental Health Nursing.
  • Schout, G. & De Jong, G. (2018). The weakening of kin ties: Exploring the need for life-world led interventions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • De Jong, G. & Schout, G. (2018). Evaluating Family Group Conferencing: Towards a meaningful research methodology. Child Abuse and Neglect.
    De Jong, G., Meijer, E. & Schout, G. (2018). Family Group Conferencing as a catalyst for recovery and ownership in mental health. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes.
  • Dermody, G., & Kovach, Christine R. (2018). Barriers to Promoting Mobility in Hospitalized Older Adults. Research in Gerontological Nursing. 2018;11(1):17-27.
  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J., and Sundin, D. Surviving ICU: Stories of recovery. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing (online).
  • Fowler, A. C., Ewens, B., Vafeas, C., Delves, L., Hayward, C., Nannup, N. & Baum, G. Closing the gap: A whole of school approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusivity in higher education. Nurse Education Practice.
  • Gibson, N. (2018). Impact of National Emergency Access Target policy on emergency departments’ performance: a time-trend analysis for New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland. Emergency Medicine Australasia.
  • Forero, F., Man, N., Ngo, H.,  Mountain, D.,  Mohsin, M., Fatovich, D.,  Toloo, G.,  Celenza, A., FitzGerald, G.,  McCarthy, S.,  Richardson, D.,  Xu, F., Gibson, N., Nahidi, S. & Hillman, K. (2018). Impact of the four-hour National Emergency Access Target on 30 day mortality, access block and chronic emergency department overcrowding in Australian emergency departments. Emergency Medicine Australasia.
  • Nahidi, S., Forero, R.,  McCarthy, S., Man, N., Gibson, N., Mohsin, M., Mountain, D., Fatovich, D., Fitzgerald, G. & Toloo, G. (2018). Qualitative analysis of perceptions and experiences of emergency department staff in relation to implementation and outcomes of the Four-Hour Rule/National Emergency Access Target in Australia. Emergency Medicine Australasia.
  • Nahidi, S.,  Forero, R., Man, N., Mohsin, M., Fitzgerald, G., Toloo, G.,  McCarthy, S., Gibson, N., Fatovich, D.  & Mountain, D. (2018). Impact of 4HR/NEAT policy implementation on Emergency Department staff: A qualitative perspective of ED management changes. Emergency Medicine Australasia.
  • Steinwandel, U., Gibson, N., Towell-Barnard, M., Parsons, R., Rippey, JJR., Rosman, J. (2018). Measuring the prevalence of intradialytic hypotension in a satellite dialysis clinic: Are we too complacent? Journal of Clinical Nursing.
  • Beresford, R & Kemp V. (2018). Western Australia’s peer workforce: principles, practice, and opportunities In Meagher. Peer work in Australia, A new future for mental health. Book Chapter.
  • Kirk Walker, D. & Whitehead, L. (2018). Breast surgery for metastatic breast cancer. British Journal of Community Nursing 23(7), pp 334-335.
  • Vafeas, C., Jacob, E., & Jacob A. (2018). A younger onset dementia toolkit: Innovative practice, Dementia. International Journal of Social Research and Practice.
  • Saunders, R., Dugmore, H., Seaman, K., Singer, R. & Lake, F. (2018). Interprofessional learning in ambulatory care. The Clinical Teacher. https://doi/org/10.1111/tct.12764
  • Vafeas, C., Graham, R., De Jong, G., Sharp, J., Ngune, I., & Maes, S. Alcohol consumption patterns of older adults: a study in a regional town in Western Australia. Contemporary Nurse journal.
  • Wang, C. C. & Zhu, R. (2018). Acupuncture, its place in holistic care: granting access to this critical and timely exposition on the art of this modality. Holistic Nursing Practice.
  • Wang, C., Zhu, R., Ge, L., Tufanaru, C., Bayes, S. & DeJong, G. (2018). Effectiveness of acupuncture as an adjunct treatment for women with postnatal depression: a systematic review protocol. JBI Database of Systematic Reports and Implementation Reports.
  • Abel, S., Whitehead, L., C. & Coppel, K.J. (2018). Making dietary changes following a diagnosis of prediabetes: a qualitative exploration of barriers and facilitators. Diabetic Medicine (35) 9.
  • Whitehead, L. (2018). Self-management programmes for quality of life in people with stroke. International Journal of Nursing Practice.
  • Whitehead, L. (2018). The Effects of Different Types of Dietary Advice for Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on Pregnancy Outcomes. Clinical Nurse Specialist 32(4):175-176.
  • Whitehead, L. (2018). Dietary Advice for People with Schizophrenia. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Whitehead, L. (2018). Interventions to increase attendance for diabetic retinopathy screening: A Cochrane review summary. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 
  • Trip, H., Whitehead, L. & Crowe, M. (2018). Perceptions of ageing and future aspirations by people with intellectual disability: A grounded theory study using photo-elicitation. Ageing & Society.


  • Ewens, B., Hendricks, J. & Sundin, D. (2017). Implications for research and practice of the biographic approach for storytelling. Nurse Researcher 24(3):19-24 · January 2017 DOI: 10.7748/nr.2017.e1396
  • Greenwood, M., Kendrick, T., Davies, H. & Gill, F. (2017) Hearing voices: Comparing two methods for analysis of focus group data, Applied Nursing Research, 35 (2017) 90-93.
  • Meijer, E., Schout, G., De Jong, G. & Abma, T. (2017) Regaining ownership and restoring belongingness: Impact of Family Group Conferencing in coercive psychiatry. Journal of Advanced Nursing.
  • Steinwandel, A., Gibson, N., Rippey, J., Towell, A., & Rosman, J. (2017) Journal of Renal Care Intradialytic hypotension – Use of ultrasound on the inferior vena cava by renal nurses. Journal of Renal Care January 2017
  • Whitehead, L. (2017) First-episode genital herpes: interventions for men and women.  Nursing standard: official newspaper of the Royal College of Nursing, Volume 31, Issue 22
  • Whitehead, L. (2017) The Family Experience of Fatigue in Heart Failure. Journal of Family Nursing.
  • Whitehead, L. Self-management of Type 2 Diabetes and Severe Mental Illness. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Schout, G., Meijer, E. & De Jong, G. (2017) Family Group Conferencing – Its added va lue in mental health care. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Sin, J., Jordan, C., Barley, E., Henderson, C., Norman, I. & Whitehead, L.  (2017) Psychoeducation for Siblings of People with Severe Mental Illness, Issues in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Vafeas, C. & Jacob, E. (2017) Prescription for Life: an interactive resource for YOD, Australian Journal of Dementia Care, 6(1), 10.
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