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Facts & figures

Our research

  • Rated at highest level (5) Excellence in Research Australia rankings
Research_

Research at Sydney Nursing School

Improving the patient experience and impacting health policy
We are committed to the vital role that nurses play throughout a person’s life, and strive to create research that improves patient experience with an impact on health policy.

Research highlights

  • We are currently receiving research funding from over 40 international, federal and local private and public bodies.
  • As a result of the first national report on childhood injury in Australia, led by Professor Kate Curtis, the federal government has included $900,000 of funding for a national injury prevention plan.
  • Three of our professors lead clinical research centres within major Sydney hospitals, focusing on the co-designed care of cancer, mental illness and midwifery.
  • Research by Associate Professor Thomas Buckley cardiovascular research has revealed that the risk of a heart attack is 8.5 times higher in the two hours following a burst of intense anger. His research was published in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care and is the first Australian study to investigate the link between acute emotional triggers and high risk of severe cardiac episodes.
  • Professor Yun-Hee Jeon has received a $1,864,344.80 NHMRC Implementation of Dementia Research into Clinical Practice and Care Grant for the I-HARP program. The program is designed to help people with dementia remain at home for longer. 
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Fraser and Associate Professor Timothy Wand have both been awarded a share of the $6.6 million Translational Research Grant Scheme by the NSW Government. Professor Fraser's work will streamline care and assessment of children aged six years and under who are admitted into emergency departments with an injury, and Professor Wand's research will examine the possibility of an innovative model of nurse-led mental health care in emergency departments.

Major research themes 

Our research is closely aligned with the research activities of the faculty, with research being conducted in the following major themes:

Other research themes

Our research into sleep and sleep disorders aims to measure the impact of these disorders, as well as the effectiveness of treatments and health system activity related to sleep.

Initiatives

  • Insomnia phenotypes: what are the differences between individuals with insomnia and those without.
  • Sleep and sleep disorder research, including sleep apnoea.

Researchers

Nurses play a vital role in evaluating and treating acutely ill or severely injured people, as well as managing the social and emotional costs associated with their care.  Our research focuses on identifying common causes of major injuries, the appropriate care of acutely ill people and people with long-term disabilities, and any associated costs. Working collaboratively with clinicians, clients and their families, we aim to conduct meaningful research that can be translated into health policy and practice.

Initiatives
  • Assessing the cost-effectiveness of reducing the cost and harm associated with rib fractures in older people.
  • Factors impacting risk of heart attack.
  • Translational research into child presentations in regional NSW emergency departments.
Researchers

Centres, institutes and groups

We lead research in cancer and supportive care, and working with cancer and palliative care nurses across NSW to develop their research capacity and skills.

Partly funded by the Cancer Institute NSW, we are a a consortium of the Sydney Nursing School and the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, bringing together the school's strength in cancer and palliative care research with Chris O'Brien Lifehouse's reputation as a centre of excellence in clinical cancer care.

Our research is conducted under four themes:

  • supportive care
  • psychosocial and quality of life
  • models of health care delivery
  • improving research capacity and skills for cancer and palliative care nurses.
Key staff
  • Professor Kate White, NSW Academic Chair in Cancer Nursing

The Midwifery and Women's Health Research Unit is a joint initiative between the University of Sydney and the Royal Hospital for Women with support from the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation

Located within one of Australia’s leading women’s hospitals, the research unit is bringing together midwives, doctors and nurses to undertake research that will translate into everyday midwifery practice and set new trends to offer more family-friendly and women-centred care.

Research highlights
  • A unique study that used an established cohort of mothers who were exposed to the 2011 Queensland floods to investigate how stress during pregnancy and different types of maternity care can affect maternal mental health and child development.
  • Partnership grant with UQ that aims to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) is a collaboration between leading experts to develop new and innovative ways to improve healthcare for communities in NSW, with focus on translating research and science into real outcomes for patients and their communities.
Key staff
  • Professor Sally Tracy, Head of Unit
  • Annette Wright, Education Manager for Nursing and Midwifery Royal Hospital for Women
  • Bev Hall, Research Midwife
  • Belle Bruce, Research Midwife
  • Anne Lainchbury, Research Midwife
  • Dr Donna Hartz, POCHE Midwife
  • Tanya Martin, POCHE Midwife  

I-HARP is a unique model of care, funded by the Australian government, that aims to help older people with dementia remain healthy and independent in their own homes.

The program combines a range of proven health care strategies into a comprehensive intervention delivered at home. I-HARP clinicians work closely with the person with dementia and their carer to provide client-directed and client-centred care and support. 

A pilot study was conducted between 2015 and 2016 with 18 people with dementia and their carers, that showed potential benefits in terms of individual goal attainment, mobility, independence, well-being and confidence. Participants commented that focusing on their abilities was reassuring and gave them a feeling of hope and independence. Reasons for success of the program were attributed to the one-on-one, hands-on approach; continuity and regularity of visits; and specialised yet easy-to-follow suggestions from each clinician. 

Within 12 months of taking part in the study participants had fewer falls, fewer hospital admissions and none had moved into residential aged care. 

For more information or to participate in the trial, contact the I-HARP Project Team at i-harp.study@sydney.edu.au, or 02 9114 4277.

Download the pilot study poster (pdf, 1MB) for more information. 

Project team
  • Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, Project Lead
  • Kate Maston, Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Nirupama Wijesuriya, Senior Clinical Trials Officer
Chief investigators
Associate investigators
Our partners

StepUp for Dementia Research is a research participation and engagement service, a “one-stop shop” that connects individuals – both with and without dementia – with researchers conducting studies into dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and cure. We make it easier for the brightest minds in research to connect with people willing to donate their time. StepUp for Dementia Research is the flagship initiative of a program called Connect Dementia Research Australia (CDR-A). 

The team are currently preparing for the 2018 launch of StepUp for Dementia Research, that will cover NSW and Western Australia, ahead of nation-wide scaling in 2019.

For more information, contact stepup.research@sydney.edu.au

Key staff
Affiliates
  • University College of London (Professor Martin Rossor and Adam Smith, Programs Manager)
  • University of Exeter (Associate Professor Piers Kotting)
  • Early implementation of StepUp for Dementia Research is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Research partners

Sydney Nursing School is proud to partner with the following organisations and governments, ensuring that our research is sustained at a global standard.

Research support staff