The WA Centre for Rural Health conducts research on issues that are important for rural health service delivery, with a particular focus on Aboriginal health, population health, workforce development and health professional education.
Current Research Projects
Clinical Yarning is a framework to assist clinicians to improve the effectiveness of their communication in Aboriginal health care. Clinical Yarning workshops build upon in-place cultural learning and provide clinicians and students with skills that translate cultural learning into healthcare practice. Clinical Yarning is complemented by an eLearning program which can be viewed here - www.clinicalyarning.org.au
The WA Centre for Rural Health has been involved in local and national research to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people with cancer for over a decade. This series of collaborative research projects explore various aspects of cancer care, including understanding Aboriginal people’s beliefs about cancer and their experiences accessing cancer care, identifying strategies to support Aboriginal people on their cancer journey and deliver culturally safe cancer care, and developing strategies to improve the cultural safety of the cancer workforce. One such strategy is the Whisper No More learning package for health students and clinicians, which contains stories from Aboriginal people about their experience of cancer.
Telehealth is a safe and effective way to improve access to health services, including cardiac rehabilitation, in remote areas. Using a novel hub-and-spoke model, health professionals delivering the program would be based in regional centres (hub) and be responsible for multiple smaller townships (spokes). Group telehealth sessions will be delivered at a local facility more suited for participants addressing issues such as internet access and connectivity, social isolation, and local transportation. The aim of this study is to co-design and evaluate a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program using group telehealth sessions to improve physical and psychological wellbeing.
In partnership with Dementia Training Australia (DTA), WA Centre for Rural Health researchers are working to improve opportunities for training of health staff in rural and remote areas around dementia management and care. This research responds to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which highlighted that care for older people in rural and remote areas needs to be improved. Through a scoping review, multiple Roundtables in rural Australia, and a survey of providers working in aged care in rural and remote Australia, healthcare providers will help shape the nature of training about dementia so that it best meets their needs. This will inform the development of a National DTA Rural and Remote Training Framework.
Funded by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation & Safety (DMIRS) Mentally Healthy Workplaces Grant Program, the ‘Leading Thriving Workplaces’ initiative has the WA Centre for Rural Health working closely with two organisations in the Midwest to promote positive workplace practices.
Staff at our partner agencies, Ngala and WA Country Health Service will build their knowledge and skills as leaders and champions for psychologically safe workplaces drawing on the evidence based Thrive at Work framework and Dare to Lead™.
The project will help inform how health and human services can build workplace cultures that attract, support and keep staff in the regions.
We welcome research higher-degree students and honours students with an interest in rurally-based health and social research. We have a team of experienced research academics available to provide supervision and support. We encourage place-based research and engagement with local communities as research partners.