The Alumni of the Department of General Practice have gone on to have a significant influence in their fields of interest and drive standards and insights across a spectrum of general practice areas. Their skills and research pursuits will see them advance public policy discussions in the future, putting the department at the forefront of primary care policy discourse.
Our students are engaged in a range of research subjects. The Department’s goal is to shape both policy and practice with evidence-based insights gained through finely honed research projects. Here are some examples of research projects that have been completed by our Alumni.
Seema Deb (BMedSc Hons)
Project Title: Improving and increasing the delivery of medical abortion in Australian general practice: models of care
Although the current method of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MToP) has been approved by the Australian government since 2012, very few general practitioners provide this service. The qualitative data generated from this project will describe the current models of care used by providers and seek to explain how they have established and maintained effective access to such a service. Its aim is to potentially assist other primary care providers to set up similar services in areas of need. This project sits in the medical abortion stream of SPHERE-The Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women: Achieving Better Outcomes through Primary Care.
Ridmi Dolamulla (BMS Hons)
Project Title: Statistical analysis of Australian Contraceptive ChOice pRoject's (ACCORd) contraception specific data and construction of comprehensive contraceptive advice for general practitioners
Drawing upon data collected during baseline interviews from the Australian Contraceptive ChOice pRoject (ACCORd) this project will explore women’s contraceptive journeys. Reported previous use of contraception to current contraception used will be documented. Contraceptive experience, side-effects, bleeding patterns, reasons for discontinuation and levels of satisfaction will be explored in order to gain a holistic idea of women’s experience of, and attitudes towards different types of contraceptives. This research will enable health care professionals to better understand women’s contraceptive journey and provide more comprehensive contraceptive advice.
Sumudu Setunge (BMedSc Hons)
Project Title: The economic integration of resettled refugees in Australia as a predictor of mental illness: A five year longitudinal study
In 2013 the Australian Institute of Family services commissioned the Building a New Life in Australia longitudinal study into how humanitarian migrants settle into Australia. This research project aims to review the data from the fourth wave of the study to analyse the potential association between the economic integration of refugees and the prevalence of poor mental health. This project will investigate the demographics associated with financial stresses, employment, and income and aim to identify targets of policy to help decrease the well-recognised burden of mental illness experienced by refugees.
Pravik Solanki (BMedSc Hons)
Project Title: Complexity in models of care for the transgender and gender diverse community in Victoria: a quantitative comparison
Transgender and gender diverse people have some of the highest unmet health needs across the Australian population, with two-thirds desiring cross-sex hormones and close to half attempting suicide. In response to growing demand on services, a shift towards new 'informed consent' models (allowing cross-sex hormones to be initiated by GPs) is underway, in favour of referred-care models requiring a mental health clinician to approve therapies. This cross-sectional study will gather data on sociodemographic, mental health and healthcare utilisation characteristics to quantitatively compare patient complexity in the two models of care, providing novel insights into how the two models are currently being coordinated to meet patient needs.
MHlthSc(OccTher), BAppSc(OccTher), GradCertMgmt
PhD Title: Person-centred care in a Hospital Admission Risk Program for people with multiple chronic conditions.
Annette’s research involves an exploration of person-centred care in a program that aims to reduce hospital demand through comprehensive assessment, care coordination, and timely responsive specialist care in the community for people with complex needs who present frequently to hospital or the emergency department, or are at imminent risk of presenting to hospital. This program is a Victorian-government funded initiative called Hospital Admission Risk Program (HARP) in south-eastern Melbourne.
With the overall aim of exploring person-centred care in the HARP, Annette’s specific research questions are:
- What are the experiences of HARP clients with multiple chronic conditions in planning and enacting their care?
- What are the experiences of these clients in using information provided by HARP providers to make decisions about their care?
- How does the HARP identify and respond to their clients’ needs?
- What characteristics of person-centred care matter most to these HARP clients with multiple chronic conditions?
- What are the barriers and enablers of person-centred care in the HARP?
These questions will be answered by collecting qualitative data via semi-structured interviews with HARP staff and clients, observation of outpatient clinics accessed by the clients, and analysis of the electronic medical records of interviewed clients.
The results of this project will contribute to the emerging evidence surrounding person-centred care for people with multiple chronic conditions.
Annette is a registered occupational therapist the current recipient of The Leon Piterman AM PhD Scholarship and commenced her candidature in January 2016.
Annette also works as a Lecturer within the Department of Occupational Therapy, coordinating two fourth-year undergraduate units.
Prior to joining Monash University, Annette was an occupational therapist working in various rehabilitation settings and a service delivery manager with CRS Australia for ten years.
Dr Alison Dowling
Thesis title: An investigation into the association of pre- and post-migration experiences on self-rated health among new humanitarian refugees to Australia: a mixed methods longitudinal study
Dr Alison Flehr
Thesis Title: #MindinBody. An investigation of persistent pain from a psychobiological perspective
Dr Ala Ahmad
Thesis Title: Clinical Ethics from an Islamic Perspective: Issues Relating to Health Service Management in Jordan
Dr Maithri Peiris-Goonetilleke
Thesis Title: An exploration of structural factors involved in the HIV epidemic in Swaziland
Dr Ruby Biezan
Thesis Title: Knowledge, attitude and practice of parents and primary care providers in the prevention and management of respiratory tract infections in young children
Dr Maria Alexandris
Thesis Title: A Study of the Role of Connectedness in Supporting Young People's Housing Security
Dr Diana Murray
Thesis Title: Balancing 'me': Managing the self through bipolar disorder
Dr Karyn Alexander
Thesis Title: Preventive healthcare for young children in general practice
Visiting Scholar from Radboud University, The Netherlands
Supervisors: Dr. Liz Sturgiss (Monash University) and Dr. Tim Olde Hartman (Radboud University)
Project Title: Using the Working Alliance Inventory in Australian general practice: a cross-sectional quantitative study
In primary care, the doctor-patient relationship is very important because it influences health outcomes. The Working Alliance is a theoretical framework that was developed in psychology by Bordin. The framework divides the relationship into three components: goal, bond and task. The Working Alliance
Inventory (WAI) is a survey developed from this theoretical framework to measure the alliance in psychology and it has since been adapted and used in both primary and secondary healthcare. The WAI has been adapted for general practice to the “WAI-GP”.
We will determine whether the WAI-GP survey aligns with the three components of Bordin’s framework using confirmatory factor analysis and its concurrent validity with measures of empathy and patient-centredness.