8 research projects improving Australian health care

Medibank has awarded $750K to 8 research grants focused on preventative health and patient care.

The Medibank Health Research Fund has selected eight innovative health research projects for its 2015 grant program, each receiving a share in $750,000 to help make strides forward in Australian health care.

These projects each address an aspect of preventative health, or seek to improve the way an existing health condition is managed. Each year Medibank commits a minimum of $400,000 directly to the Medibank Health Research Fund, in addition to gift matching all employee donations to the Fund dollar-for-dollar.

“Medibank stands for better health. The eight projects we are supporting all look at new ways of responding to existing problems,” says Medibank Group Executive Dr Andrew Wilson.

“We know that investment in health research is critical as we strive to understand, address and prevent the many serious health issues that are escalating and having a negative impact on our society. The Medibank Health Research Fund is one way we are working towards building a healthier future.

“We’re excited to be partnering with a range of researchers at leading institutions to deliver research projects that have the potential to positively impact long term health outcomes not only here in Australia, but world-wide.”

2015 Medibank Health Research Fund Grants

The following projects have been awarded grants in the 2015 program:

  • ‘Testing an SMS-based intervention to increase adherence to self-care behaviours amongst heart failure patients.’ (Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University)

Professor David Thompson will conduct research into an SMS-based approach to improving outcomes for heart failure patients, aimed at increasing self-care behaviours.

  • ‘Optimising primary care management of hip and knee osteoarthritis.’ (Department of Medicine Royal North Shore Hospital and University of Sydney)

Professor David Hunter’s research project aims to improve primary care management strategies for sufferers of hip and knee osteoarthritis, leading to better patient health outcomes and reduced health care costs.

  • ‘Shared decision making for women with ductal carcinoma in situ.’ (School of Psychology, University of Sydney)

Professor Madeleine King will conduct a pilot study aimed at improving information, understanding and involvement in the decision-making of patients diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (a condition linked to breast cancer).

  • ‘Person-centred rehabilitation: implementation and evaluation of a rehabilitation specific patient experience survey.’ (Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong)

Ms Frances Simmonds will evaluate a rehabilitation-specific patient experience survey tool, designed to help improve the quality of rehabilitation care in the future by helping clinicians more effectively manage continued growth in the demand for care.

  • ‘Improving the measurement of patient reported outcomes.’ (Department of Epidemiology & Preventative Medicine, Monash University)

Professors John McNeil and Just Stoelwinder will measure the quality of hospital-based care experienced by patients, aiming to improve the way this data is recorded, presented, and used to assist clinicians to improve processes in hospital settings.

  • ‘Hip and knee joint replacements in older Australians – what factors predict positive outcomes and optimise quality of life?’ (Department of Epidemiology & Preventative Medicine, Monash University)

Professor Flavia Cicuttini will examine the key factors that influence the health outcomes for older Australians who undergo primary hip and knee replacement.

  • ‘Improving blood pressure control in primary care: a cluster randomised trial of a practice nurse intervention targeting patients at high cardiovascular risk.’ (School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales)

Professor Nicholas Zwar will examine the potential of expanding the role of the Practice Nurse, combined with the use of responsive computerised clinical information tools, to support patients with hypertension who are considered ‘high cardiovascular risk’.

  • ‘Integrating mobile-health and physical activity to reduce the burden of chronic low back pain trial (IMPACT).’ (Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney)

Dr Paulo Ferreira’s research will focus on assisting Australians suffering from chronic lower back pain, examining how patient-centred, planned physical activity intervention (mobile-health) can positively impact recurrence of the condition, the need for medical care, and treatment via surgery.


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