Our Research

UQ Poche Centre-Supported Research

UQ Poche leads a research effort to development a comprehensive approach to urban Indigenous health, with an emphasis on translational research and a focus on prevention and education. In collaboration with our partners in primary health care, UQ Poche research contributes to improved models of health service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in urban areas.

Our Centre is focused on improving urban Indigenous health outcomes across the life course across three core themes:

  • Maternal and child health (Mums and Bubs);
  • Young people and adolescents (Healthy Transition to Adulthood);
  • Adults and older people (Healthy Living, Healthy Ageing).

Additionally, UQ Poche has broad workforce development objectives to both support young Indigenous people in pathways to careers in health, as well as to ensure that all UQ staff, students and graduates are better trained to work in Indigenous health.

Current projects

The UQ Poche Centre currently supports a number of research projects, including 6 projects funded through Poche seed funding. These are listed below.

Indigenous Community Health: A scoping study (Poche Seed Funding)

This study represents an exciting opportunity to support the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in developing its evidence base on IUIH service effectiveness in relation to urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing outcomes.

IUIH currently collects a range of clinical and program data on service use, user outcomes, and staff input; data which could further support IUIH in its mission to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes.

The aim of this scoping study is to investigate the potential of IUIH’s datasets and whether they can be used or adapted to develop a robust baseline of urban Indigenous health and wellbeing and to rigorously evaluate the collective and individual service impact of IUIH on Indigenous health and wellbeing outcomes over the life course. During our study, we will identify priority issues to explore in future research phases and develop research frameworks to guide this work.

Project objectives:

The aim of this scoping study – the first phase in a series of research projects seeking to support IUIH in developing its evidence base – is to investigate the potential of IUIH’s data resources for measuring individual health and wellbeing outcomes and for evaluating the effectiveness of services delivered.

Specifically, this scoping study will seek to develop a baseline of what we know about service users, their location, the services they have access to, and their effectiveness in terms of outcomes for Indigenous Australians. In doing so, we will establish the availability, completeness and longitudinal nature of the records IUIH currently collects and identify any gaps in these records. Consideration will be given to whether any gaps could be filled through accessing publically available data sets or through adding to IUIH’s current data collection. The findings from our investigations will inform the development of a research framework for a larger study.

Four primary research questions to be addressed in this scoping study are:

  1. What indicators of health and wellbeing can be accurately measured from the IUIH data?
  2. What is the baseline profile of individuals who use IUIH services, including demographic characteristics, residential and service locations, state of health/wellbeing and services used?
  3. Is it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of IUIH services and interventions on the health and wellbeing of individuals who access the services, using the IUIH data, and how?
  4. How can the data be further enhanced to enable a more rigorous evaluation of the services provided?

The scoping study is a critical component of this research, enabling the UQ and IUIH research team to fully understand and document the potential of these datasets and to develop a comprehensive research plan, relevant to IUIH’s interests, that will ultimately provide IUIH with the tools and knowledge to better record, understand, analyse and monitor these data with the goal of improving individual and community wellbeing. It will identify important measures of health and wellbeing and produce a baseline profile of IUIH service users and their health outcomes, which can be used to drive service improvements and consequently both short and long term patient outcomes in the future.

Researchers: Professor Michele Haynes (UQ), Dr Carmel Nelson (IUIH)

Work It Out: Chronic Disease Self Management and Rehabilitation - Evaluation (Poche Seed Funding)

Work It Out is a free education and exercise program delivered by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) and designed specifically for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with, or at risk of, a chronic disease

The project investigates client experiences and outcomes of the Work It Out chronic disease self-management and rehabilitation program, taking a mixed methods approach to service evaluation and applied research.

Researchers: Dr Emma Crawford (UQ), Dr Alison Nelson (IUIH), Ms Tabinda Basit (UQ), Ms Samara Dargan (IUIH)

Developing a demographic and health services profile (Poche Seed Funding)

This project will provide epidemiological and statistical expertise to the Institute to make available demographic, health service and epidemiological data and analysis for use in planning and monitoring processes in the clinics and collectively in the region.

Using data from IUIH’s clinics and client profiles the project will identify gaps in coverage:

  1. by specific local government area
  2. by gender and stratified age groups
  3. by specific gender and age strata linked to programs offered by the clinics—eg under-fives, immunization programs, shared antenatal and post-natal care, sexual health programs, chronic disease plans etc.  
  4. by specific programs and projected targets.

Researchers: Associate Professor Peter Hill (UQ), Dr Akhtar Hussain (UQ), Dr Carmel Nelson (IUIH)

Closing the Gap in Discharge Against Medical Advice (DAMA) (Poche Seed Funding)

This project is a collaboration between Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS), The University of Queensland’s Centre for Business and Economics of Health (UQ CBEH), the UQ Poche Centre, and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH).

The project will apply state-of-the-art econometrics and economic analyses to hospital unit-record data to develop a DAMA risk-prediction algorithm. The algorithm will be embedded in a risk assessment and management package the will be piloted within MNHHS as part of a multi-component, evidence-based, service innovation.

Researchers: Prof Luke Connelley (UQ), Dr Angela Maguire (UQ)

Data mining and analysis for specific health programs (Poche Seed Funding)

This project will mine for  specific data for the analysis of particular programs running in IUIH, allowing critical decisions to be made regarding their management. 

The work will extend the CTG modelling methodology developed by IUIH in association with Dr Steve Begg in 2012 to extract time-series clinical data from clinics under the IUIH umbrella and convert this information to changes in clinical risk for those outcomes most associated with the health gap. 

Researchers: Associate Professor Peter Hill (UQ), Dr Akhtar Hussain (UQ), Dr Carmel Nelson (IUIH)

Evaluating outcomes of a therapy program for Indigenous children using Australian Therapy Outcome Measure for Indigenous Clients (Poche Seed Funding)

The UQ Health and Rehabilitation clinics and IUIH have, in partnership, delivered culturally responsive interprofessional occupational therapy and speech pathology services to children in South East Qld for many years. The Australian Therapy Outcome Measure for Indigenous Clients (ATOMIC) has been developed and piloted with 18 children receiving therapy at a community controlled Indigenous school.  This project seeks to use the ATOMIC more broadly to evaluate educational outcomes of the IUIH children’s therapy program across South East Queensland. 


MoMenTim: A community-wide approach to improving the mental health and well-being of Indigenous young men

MoMenTIM is a project which aims to normalise the discussion around social and emotional well-being in young indigenous men and ensure they are accessing screening services and treatment.  

The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the MoMenTIM intervention by determining whether the intervention has led to an increase in screening of social and emotional well-being of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and better quality care. This is important for deciding whether the intervention is successful and should be implemented in more locations.

Researchers: Professor Jon Willis (UQ), Mr Bryan Mukandi (UQ)

Deadly Ears: Culturally responsive practice

Using action research to develop student placements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community kindergartens that promote occupational therapy and speech pathology students’ learning of inter-professional and culturally responsive practice.

Researchers: Dr Jodie Copley (UQ), Dr Anne Hill (UQ), Helen Sargison 

Pain Heroes: Chronic Pain Management in Indigenous Health – Service development and evaluation

Pain Heroes is a self-management chronic pain program for Indigenous Australians. Developed due to a lack of culturally responsive programs for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the program has been piloted in South East Queensland and informally evaluated. Current data collection is laying the groundwork for further service development and research. The project aims to enhance, expand and evaluate chronic pain services that are integrated with existing services, and provide comprehensive care for IUIH clients. 

Researchers: Dr Emma Crawford (UQ), Ms Tabinda Basit (IUIH)

Student experiences of learning in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education settings

In collaboration with IUIH’s workforce development team, UQ graduating occupational therapy students undertake fieldwork based at the Murri School (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Independent Community School). Each year data is collected for research purposes regarding students’ self-reflection. This research intends to better understand student learning with respect to developing skills for self-awareness in the context of cultural responsiveness and working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education settings.

Deadly Ears: family-centred coaching

This project explores Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents’ experiences of the Single Session family-centred consultation model of therapy service provision. This model of therapy involves providing speech pathology, audiology and occupational therapy using inter-professional family-centred coaching. The project seeks to explore the service’s responsiveness to family concerns and its focus on family strengths.

Researchers: Dr Jodie Copley (UQ), Dr Nerina Scarinci (UQ), Dr Tanya Rose (UQ), Helen Sargison