SPHERE - NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care

SPHERE, the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care, commenced operations in February this year and is led by Professor Danielle Mazza at the Department of General Practice.

Since then, SPHERE has welcomed two research fellows and a PhD student to the team.  Dr Asvini Subasinghe and Dr Natalie Amos will be working on projects within the abortion and contraception streams of the SPHERE research program, respectively. These two streams are focused on increasing the delivery of medical termination of pregnancy and long-acting reversible contraception in primary care by providing support to primary care providers and developing new service delivery models that align with the preferences of women.

Philippa Buckingham commenced her PhD in April and her project will be focused on the use of a decision aid to widen contraceptive choice amongst women attending general practices and pharmacies.  Dr Maria de Leon-Santiago has also moved into a new role within SPHERE as the Manager.  She oversees the operational aspects of SPHERE and is also involved in research development, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement.

A recent highlight for SPHERE has been the awarding of the Australasian Association for Academic Primary Care’s Most Distinguished Paper to Professor Danielle Mazza for this year’s Annual Research Conference.  This award is in recognition of her outstanding work with The Australian Contraceptive Choice Project (ACCORd).  The ACCORd project was a NHMRC-funded, cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention that was aimed at increasing the uptake of long acting reversible contraception by women attending general practice.

This work was also one of three papers that was selected as a “distinguished paper” for excellence in research at the 2018 North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Meeting.

For more information about SPHERE and its research program here.