Research projects and partners

Active research projects

Using PROMs for quality improvement in elective surgery: an implementation study - Professor Jonathon Karnon

Commenced 2022

In collaboration with Flinders University, we will implement patient-reported outcome measurement for two elective surgical conditions to assess the relationship between a patient's activation level and their health outcomes, and which surgical techniques and models of care provide best value.

Investigating the relationship between out-of-pocket costs, healthcare quality, experience and outcomes – Associate Professor Reema Harrison

Commenced 2021

In collaboration with researchers at Macquarie University, this project aims to determine the relationship between out-of-pocket costs, healthcare quality, experience and outcomes.

Making football safe for women – Professor Kay Crossley

Commenced 2021

Recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant

In collaboration with various Australian and international universities (led by La Trobe University), the AFL, AFL Victoria, and various other peak bodies, this project is investigating if implementing a structured warm-up routine prior to training sessions and matches for female AFL players could reduce the incidence of injury.

The Australian rotator cuff trial: a randomised placebo-controlled trial of surgical repair of non-acute rotator cuff tears of the shoulder – Professor Ian Harris

Commenced 2021

Supporting researchers from the Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre to determine the effectiveness, safety and value of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair compared with placebo surgery in improving shoulder pain and function, and quality of life in people with symptoms attributed to non-acute, full-thickness rotator cuff repairs.

The impact of price transparency on variation and out-of-pocket costs – Professor Margaret Kelaher and Professor Adam Elshaug

Commenced 2020

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have been given access to non-identifiable Medibank data to establish the possible causes and impacts of price transparency by medical specialists.

Understanding awareness, barriers and enablers affecting rehabilitation decision to support equitable access to rehabilitation care – Professor Michael Nilsson

Commenced 2020

In partnership with the University of Newcastle, this project aims to determine the barriers and enablers that affect rehabilitation decisions for patients and healthcare providers.

Success trial - Surgery for spinal stenosis: a randomised placebo-controlled trial - Professor Manuela Ferreira

Commenced 2019

This randomised placebo-controlled trial in collaboration with the University of Sydney will evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of decompressive surgery for spinal canal stenosis and represents a highly significant advanced knowledge in this field.

A problematic trilogy: Osteoarthritis, obesity and hip or knee arthroplasty – Natalie Pavlovic (Ph.D. Candidate, UNSW)

Commenced 2019

This Ph.D. scholarship aims to tackle the trilogy of osteoarthritis, obesity and the need for hip or knee arthroplasty by trialling obese osteoarthritis patients on an anti-inflammatory diet to see if this can improve symptoms.

Completed research projects

Menzies HealthLAB: delivering self-determined health education and preventative health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities - Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Commenced 2022

For ten years, Menzies HealthLAB has taken the message about healthy lifestyles to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in remote communities in the Nothern Territory. Through the partnership, Medibank is helping HealthLAB evaluate and refine its services.

Partnering for high-value prosthesis selection and better patient outcomes – Professor Steven McPhail, Queensland University of Technology

Commenced 2021

Unwarranted variation in prosthesis selection could contribute to low-value care and have the potential to cause increased rates of harm. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology are exploring factors that influence prosthesis selection and potential approaches for reducing unwarranted variations.

Optimising use and reporting of the Australian Hospital Experience Questions Set (AHPEQS) for comparing performance between hospitals – Professor Kirsten McCaffery

Commenced 2021

In partnership with researchers at the University of Sydney to identify predictors of positive patient experience using the AHPEQS and additional factors to adjust for standardised hospital-based comparisons using this outcomes measure for day-stay admissions.

Analysis of Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) survey results on cultural safety – Margaret Banks, National Standards Program, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Commenced 2021

In memoriam of Professor Margaret Kelaher

The ACSQHC aims to improve care and treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by better understanding training programs being delivered nationally to inform future development of standards and resources that will improve cultural safety, patient experience and safety and quality of care.

Developing a model for rehabilitation in the home – Professor Ros Poulos

Commenced 2021

Partnering with HammondCare and the University of New South Wales to develop a model of high-quality and affordable Rehabilitation In The Home (RITH) and a practical decision support tool to identify patients who can be safely managed with RITH.

Sustainable, effective and safe use of virtual care technologies – Professor Ani Desai, La Trobe University

Commenced 2020

One of three rapid research projects established with La Trobe University during COVID-19, this study is investigating if virtual care technology in a patient’s home can reduce their need for presentation to a hospital emergency room.

Rapid implementation of telehealth for cancer survivors – Dr Amy Dennett, La Trobe University

Commenced 2020

One of three rapid research projects established with La Trobe University during COVID-19, this project looks at the impact of delivering tele-rehab to cancer survivors from both the patient and provider perspective.

Mental and physical health impacts of working at home – Dr Jodi Oakman, La Trobe University

Commenced 2020

One of three rapid research projects established with La Trobe University during COVID-19, this project explores the impacts of working from home on various study groups.

E-health to empower patients with musculoskeletal pain in rural Australia – Professor Paulo Ferreira

Commenced 2019

This randomised-controlled trial in collaboration with the University of Sydney compares the benefits of decompressive spinal surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis with placebo surgery.

Uprise – Dr Michelle Lim, Swinburne University of Technology

Commenced 2019

This project evaluated the efficacy of a computerised cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness program, Uprise, in Australian tertiary students as well as a holistic health and wellbeing view of student engagement.

Developing and piloting a framework to evaluate health apps to enable the promotion of a curated set of evidence-based health apps to consumers in the Australian setting – Professor Anna Peeters

Commenced 2019

With so many different health apps available on your smart device, how do we know which ones are good? This study is designing an evaluation framework for healthcare providers and consumers to assess the quality of the health apps they use.

Developing and using virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality for the management of chronic pain – Associate Professor Rachael McDonald, Swinburne University of Technology

Commenced 2019

Researchers at Swinburne University are using existing virtual reality technologies together with the latest chronic back pain management techniques, and investigating the psychological profiles of users to determine if VR technology is an effective management tool for groups of people with chronic back pain.

Partnership grants


  • Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners Foundation - Digital Health Research Grant


  • Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners - Dr Harry Nespolon Grant
  • Consumer Health Forum - Youth Health Forum




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