Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


Research is the scientific foundation for clinical practice. The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health is committed to contributing to, and engaging with research which results in new and emerging nursing practice. For students considering studying their research degree at CSU the following information may assist you in finding the appropriate researcher for your topic and chosen methodology. Academics employed by the SNMIH are highlighted in bold.

Project TitleProject TeamFunding

Social and community links: a driver of healthy and active ageing 
This project will work with older people and mainstream community services and facility providers to identify and reduce the barriers that restrict people's ability to retain their social and community connectedness as they age.

O. Burmeister
M. Bernoth
R. Dionigi
G. Dressler
R. Akhter
M. Morrison
Md Z. Islam
E. Chia

Dept of Social Security

Project Synergy Medico-legal and ethics report 
The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (Young and Well CRC) is developing an innovative new product called the Synergy Ecosystem (Synergy). Synergy is being rolled out progressively internationally, beginning with happiness Central, a university-based online well-being resource run through the Sydney University. This report addressed the key medical, legal and ethical challenges associated with data management, transmission, and storage for Synergy, with a particular focus on the initial product, happiness Central, with a view to future pilot roll-out in the e-Mental health clinic and the third trial site, likely to be an online well-being resource targeting junior to middle high school aged young people.

O. Burmeister
M. Bernoth 
Md Z. Islam
C. Kulmar

Young and Well CRC
(Possibility of another contract for the development of future stages of the project)

Expanding non-traditional, quality clinical placements in an aged care setting in Western NSW
The main objective of the proposed project is to expand non-traditional, quality work-integrated learning (or clinical placements) in aged care settings in rural Australia. This will be achieved by establishing an innovative and sustainable Centre for Interactive Learning and Mentoring, located in Holy Spirit Aged Care Facility, Catholic Healthcare, Dubbo, in collaboration with Charles Sturt University (CSU), and the Health Education & Training Network.

M. Bernoth 
L. Croxon
J. Anderson

D. Thomas
J. Beach

$14,000 Start August 2015

Body piercing as reclamation of self following abuse
In this project we are exploring the reasons behind people undergoing intimate body piercing and establishing if there is a link between being pierced and experiences of abuse in childhood. Earlier research has linked piercing to psychopathology, risk taking behaviour, drug abuse, gang culture and fashion, but there are also pointers in that earlier research to a possible correlation between being pierced and experiences of abuse. We aim to establish if such behaviour could be used as a 'flag' for mental health clients. Survey Monkey quantitative methodology is being used.
Protocol approval number: 2015/115

A. Crowther 
F. Velander
S. Drummond


Euthanasia of mentally ill people in the Hadamar hospital in Hesse, Germany in WW2
This project explores the possibility that the German psychiatrists used the Nazi regime to realize their idea of a kind of "new psychiatry", developing innovative and detailed theories about mental illness after the killings. The project is based on analysis of patient case notes from Hadamar and from the Aktion-T4 archives in Berlin.

A. Crowther 
L. Shields

T. Foth, University of Ottowa


Feedback on learning: a study of staff and students' perceptions, and the implications of these perceptions for measuring quality feedback
This University-wide pilot study aims to help conceptualise the issue of feedback, which continuing low scores in course and subject evaluations have problematized, and thus improve our grasp of the helpfulness ( or otherwise) of feedback on learning and improve the quality of the feedback we provide. A complete study should allow us to develop rationales for our feedback practices; ground our practices in shared staff/student understandings of the purposes and value of feedback, through a capacity to be more explicit about expectations on both 'sides'; enliven our classrooms and levels of trust as a result and improve University performance in teaching quality measures in the longer term.

R. Kerr
J. Harper

Scholarship in Teaching

International Collaboration on Workforce Resilience Collaborative Research Agreement (ICWR-1)
The aim of this study is to gather data from pre-registration nurses to test a Workplace Resilience Model. Following this testing modifications will be considered and relevant changes made to the model. this will lead to the development of a workplace resilience tool.  Additionally the data will be used to inform the development of a resilience building intervention for both student and employed nurses/allied health professionals.
Protocol approval number: HREC 2014/157 CSU

Curtin University
Flinders University
Charles Sturt University:
J. Anderson 
A. Crowther
D. Stanley

University of Adelaide 
Singapore General Hospital
The Hong Kong Polytechnic
Nipissing University (Canada)


A Study of the Open Borders Program at Hampton Road Service, Fremantle
People diagnosed with borderline personality disorder frequently present in crisis to emergency Departments following an episode of self-harm. In 2013, the Hampton Road Service - a public, residential facility for mental health consumers located in WA - commenced the Open Borders program. This innovative program, which utilises a recovery-oriented model that offers an alternative to hospitalisation, reduces rates of self-harm, and frees up inpatient beds, encourages consumers to arrange their own admission to the Hampton Road Service rather than attend and Emergency Department.  The aim of the study is to gauge the effectiveness of the open Borders program. To achieve this aim, a mixed-methods approach is being utilised. it is anticipated that the project will improve our understanding of alternative models of care in relation to clinical effectiveness and efficiency, and influence future decisions regarding service provision in the mental health sector.
Protocol approval number: 1/124.07.2015 (Murdoch University)

S. Mortimer-Jones (Murdoch)
A. Munib (WA Health)
A. Bostwick, (WA Health)
P. Morrison (Murdoch)
S. Neale (Australian BPD Foundation)
C. Hungerford (CSU)
F. Paolucci (Murdoch)

$15,554 Murdoch Small Grant Scheme

Assessing Cognition in People with Mental illness and co-occurring alcohol and substance use
This study aims primarily to determine whether participants with mental illness and co-occurring drug and alcohol misuse have poorer cognitive ability than participants with mental illness who do not have co-occurring drug and alcohol misuse. The study also aims to compare levels of cognitive function and substance use, with a range of clinical outcomes. This cross-sectional study is being run concurrently at the Royal Perth Hospital in WA and Calvary Healthcare in the ACT. Participants complete a range of validated and pre-tested research instruments. Data analysis includes descriptive and interpretive statistics to explore and explain relationships between variables and groups. Results will be used to develop more appropriate treatment options for people with complex care needs, based on their capacity to acquire and process information with these treatment options tailored to the individual needs of each person as they progress through their recovery journey.
Protocol approval number: 7-2015 (Calvary Healthcare ACT) REG 14-007 (WA Department of Health)

A. Mansfield (Calvary Healthcare)
K. Heslop (Curtin)
C. Hungerford (CSU)
K. Heslop (Curtin)
C. Ross (WA Health)
F. Baughman (Curtin)
D. Wynaden (Curtin)


Anxiety Later in Life
The overall aim of this study is to optimise the detection of anxiety experienced by older persons in primary care settings and the referral of detected cases for further General Practitioner (GP) assessment and treatment as required. This aim is being pursued in two components:
1. Feasibility Study - exploring experiences, issues and concerns of general practice nurses in the use of a screening tool to detect the symptoms of anxiety in the context of the 75 years and older health assessment and relaying the outcome of this screening to the patient's GP for medical assessment.
2. Main Study - investigating the effectiveness of a protocol for nurse-led screening for anxiety in older persons in GP assessment, diagnosis and where necessary, treatment for anxiety and related conditions.
Protocol approval number: 15-147 (University of Canberra)

D. Hills (UC)
S. Hills (MLACT)
R. Parker (UC)
C. Hungerford (CSU)


Caring for people who have a life-limiting illness project CSU
This study involves administering a palliative care survey and conducting focus groups to discuss this survey which is based on the theory of self-efficacy (Reference) and will be used to evaluate the impact of the CSU curriculum on graduate preparedness for palliative care practice and together with the focus groups will identify ways in which the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) might be improved.

L. Croxon 
L. Malone
J. Anderson

$1000 CSU Seed Grant

Exploring the cultural aspects of compassion in nursing: An international on-line survey
The aim of the survey was to investigate cultural similarities and differences in the way that compassion in nursing is understood and promoted. It consisted of both open ended and closed questions. The survey was initially piloted with a sample of South Korean nurses. The initial design of the study intended to involve a cross-sectional comparison study between South Korea and the UK. However, it was decided to broaden out the survey to an international audience.

Protocol approval number: HREC 2015/024 CSU

I. Papadopoulos
J. Biles


Between the flags: Impact of the program on the role of the registered nurse within the workplace culture
The aim of this project is to explore the impact of workplace culture in the hospital wards as a result of the introduction of the between the flags (BTF) program at a rural hospital in NSW. The Between the Flags program was introduced in NSW public hospitals in 2010. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to assist with identifying relevant aspects pertinent to the deteriorating patient and the role of the registered nurse in identifying the deteriorating patient, activating a rapid response call and the impact of this initiative on workplace culture. Anecdotal reports suggest that initiation of this rapid response is predominantly nurse driven, a change from the traditional medically led response. This project aims to explore the change in the workplace culture that has occurred in one public hospital in rural NSW and the impact this program has had on registered nurses.
Portocol approval number: HREC 2015/100 CSU

C. Maginnis 
L. Croxon
M. Podham
J. Anderson

B. Fay

$1000 CSU Seed Grant

Evaluation of the Nurse Practitioners – Aged Care Models of Care Initiative
In late 2011, the Australian Government provided $18.7 million to establish a 4 year program to support the development of effective, sustainable and economically viable aged-care Nurse Practitioner models of practice in remote, rural, regional, and metropolitan Australia. It was anticipated that this program would facilitate growth in the aged-care NP workforce; and improve access for older people to primary healthcare, residential and community aged care services. Funds were also provided by the Australian Government for a large-scale evaluation of the effectiveness of the 29 participating models. Aims of the evaluation included comparing each of the models to the aims of the NP Program; assessing resource requirements and costs; analysing the effectiveness of each model; exploring consumer and provider experiences of delivering the models; assessing viability and sustainability of the models; and evaluating impact on quality of care and health outcomes.

R. Davey, R.
D. Gibson
M. Cruickshank
J. Sansoni
J. Goss
C. Hungerford 
A. Rahman
R. Parker
I. McRaei
C. Phillips
L. Brown
L. Thurecht

Department of Health and Ageing / Department of Social Services
$1.8 million