Our Higher Degree Research Students

Current Students

 

Josefine Antoniades

Investigating depression and health seeking behaviours among Sri-Lankan-Australians and Anglo-Australians

Supervisors: Dr Bianca Brijnath and Prof. Danielle Mazza

Josephine completed her BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2010 and has worked on research projects at Monash University in the School of Psychology and Psychiatry and in the Department of General Practice for the past 4.5 years. She is currently in the second year of her PhD with the Department of General Practice. The aim of her research is to explore, using qualitative methods, how culture influences and modulates the conceptualisation of depression and health-seeking behaviors in members of the Sri Lankan diaspora and what differences (if any) there are from the mainstream Anglo-Australian community. Josephine has recently completed over 30 in-depth interviews with individuals from Sri-Lankan and Anglo-Australian backgrounds living with depression and 5 focus groups with members of the Anglo-Australian community. Josephine presented an integrated review of depression treatment in immigrant populations at the Primary Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS) Conference which was held this year in Sydney. She is currently supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

 

Ruby Biezen

Knowledge, attitude and practice of parents and primary care providers in the prevention and management of respiratory tract infections in young children

Supervisors: Dr Bianca Brijnath and Prof. Danielle Mazza

Ruby Biezen enrolled in her PhD (part time) in January this year and converted to full time study in August after being awarded the Australian Postgraduate Award. She is currently in her first year of study. Her PhD research aims to examine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents and primary care providers in the prevention and management of respiratory tract infections in young children using a mixed methods approach. Ruby aims to undertake face-face interviews with primary care providers and focus groups with parents and carers of children under 5 years of age. Additionally she will undertake a national survey with primary care providers to determine their views, attitude and behaviour with respect to their knowledge and current preventive and management on respiratory illness such as hand hygiene and influenza vaccines, in children under 5 years of age. Ruby presented at the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) conference this year on her paper entitled “Respiratory tract infections in children under the age of 5: Current management in Australian general practice”.

She is currently supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

 

Karyn Alexander

Preventive Healthcare for Young Children

Supervisors: Dr Bianca Brijnath and Prof. Danielle Mazza

Dr Karyn Alexander is a practising general practitioner and PhD student in the Department of General Practice. She is researching preventive healthcare for young children in general practice and has recently completed phase 1 of the study, which examined the behaviours and perceptions of parents, GPs and practice nurses. Karyn is now starting phase 2 of the study, which is a pilot study that will trial an intervention developed to overcome the barriers to preventive healthcare for preschool children, revealed in phase 1 of the study. This will be piloted in two general practices in 2014. Karyn presented a paper at the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) Conference this year in Sydney, called “Applying the Behaviour Change Wheel: Developing a theoretically grounded intervention to improve preventive health care for young children in general practice”. Karyn has also first authored two publications from her research. She is currently supported by a Chris Silagy Fellowship from the RACGP.

Alexander KE, Brijnath B, Mazza D. ‘Can they really identify mental health problems at the age of three?’ Parent and practitioner views about screening young children’s social and emotional development. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2013 June 1, 2013;47(6):538-45

Alexander KE, Brijnath B, Mazza D. Parents’ decision making and access to preventive healthcare for young children: applying Andersen’s Model. Health Expectations. 2013:1-14.

Past Students

 

Kerry Hampton

Informing the Development of an Intervention to Improve the Delivery of Fertility-Awareness Education to Sub-Fertile Couples in the General Practice Setting

Supervisors: Prof. Danielle Mazza, A/Prof. Rhian Parker and Prof. Jenny Newton
Kerry Hampton is a registered nurse and midwife and a PhD student with the Department of General Practice. The aim of her research is to reduce the incidence of infertility in primary health care by promoting women’s agency for self-care through improved fertility literacy. The project uses a mixed methods design divided into two discrete phases. Findings of Phase 1 highlight that the most women seeking fertility assistance and attending general practice cannot accurately identify the fertile days of the menstrual cycle. Phase 2 which is currently in progress, involves a national survey of general practitioners and practice nurses measuring their fertility-awareness knowledge, attitudes and practices. The last component will entail focus group discussions with general practice nurses and telephone interviews with general practitioners to explore the barriers and enablers to fertility-awareness education for sub-fertile women in the general practice setting.

Hampton KD, Mazza D, Newton JM. Fertility-awareness knowledge, attitudes, and practices of women seeking fertility assistance. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2013;69(5):1076-84.

 

Karina Gardner

Effectiveness of practice nursing to improve quality of clinical recording in general practice

Supervisors: Prof. Danielle Mazza

Karina Gardner is an MPhil student with the Department of General Practice. She is researching the effectiveness of practice nursing on improving the quality of clinical recording in general practice. The objectives of the study are to enhance understanding of quality in general practice and to determine the effectiveness of practice nursing to improve the quality of data in general practice using the following case studies: allergies, smoking, BMI, cardiovascular risk and measures in the diabetes annual cycle of care. Karina is currently in her second year of research and has completed data collection and analysis. Karina has authored one publication from her current research.

Gardner K, Mazza D. Quality in general practice: definitions and frameworks. Aust Fam Phys. 2012; 41(3): 151–4.

 

Isaraporn Thepwongsa

Educating rural and remote GPs about Type 2 diabetes: Impact of online continuing medical education on GP knowledge, attitudes and practices, and barriers to online learning

Supervisor: Prof. Leon Piterman and Dr Catherine Kirby

Dr Isaraporn Thepwongsa is a general practitioner from Thailand and a PhD student with the Department of General Practice. After graduating from medicine, she worked as a lecturer at the Division of Family Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, while concurrently practising as a general practitioner. She has experience in the field of medical education and the management of chronic diseases, particularly diabetes. After working in Thailand for two years, she completed a Masters of Family Medicine (Clinical) at Monash University. She began her PhD in 2009 in the field of GP education. For her PhD, she is testing the effectiveness of online Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs on Australian rural and remote GPs’ learning outcomes, titled ‘Educating rural and remote GPs about Type 2 diabetes: Impact of online continuing medical education on GP knowledge, attitudes and practices, and barriers to online learning’.

 

Marina Kunin

The Implementation of Influenza Pandemic 2009/A/H1N1 Management Policies and Practices in the Primary Care: A Comparative Analysis of Three Countries

Supervisors: Prof. Shane Thomas and Prof. Leon Piterman

Marina Kunin is a PhD student with the Department of General Practice. She previously researched social policy and services in Israel with special emphasis on the health care system. Observing the response to the influenza pandemic A/H1N1 (‘Swine Flu’) of 2009 in Israel and Australia, she became interested in emergency responses to infectious diseases in primary care settings. This interest led her to undertake research that compares the experience of general practitioners during the ‘Swine Flu’ pandemic in Australia, Israel, and England. Her study aims required data collection in the three countries including in-depth interviews with general practitioners. The study provides analysis of challenges associated with the public health response to influenza pandemic in primary care settings and highlights the issues of importance to general practitioners as they implemented the influenza pandemic management policies.

Kunin M, Engelhard D, Thomas S, Ashworth M, Piterman L. Influenza pandemic 2009/A/H1N1 management policies in primary care: a comparative analysis of three countries. Aust Health Rev. 2013 Jun;37(3):291-9