Research Students

CANR Higher Degree Research Training Database (CADET)

Wanting a career in nursing or midwifery research in your area of clinical expertise, but not sure what type of project you can do? The Centre for Applied Nursing Research’s CADET database provides you with a list of available research projects from Honours to PhD along with potential supervisors. If any of the projects don’t take your interest and you want to pursue different project ideas, please contact the Centre for Applied Nursing Research.

Project TitleDELirium in Intensive care: reducing the incidence and duration among adults admitted to intensive care: The DELI Study

Course level

 Masters/PhD

Aims and Objectives

This study will evaluate the impact of a nursing-led delirium-prevention protocol (‘the intervention’) that is aimed at reducing the incidence, severity, and duration of delirium among adults admitted to ICU.

Background

Delirium has been estimated to occur in approximately 30% of adults admitted the intensive care. Delirium is associated with poor outcomes which include longer stay in intensive care unit, longer stay in hospital by 10 days and experience a prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation. The longer-term outcomes include long-term cognitive impairment, dependency in activities of daily living and 2-3 times higher mortality rate. The restlessness and agitation experienced by patients leads to increasing workload of ICU nurses who need to stay continually by the bedside to ensure the patients safety, thereby requiring one-to-one nursing care.

Methodology

 A multicentre stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial
Supervisor Steve Frost

Contact Details

 S.Frost@westernsydney.edu.au
Supervisory Team

Evan Alexandrou- Senior Lecturer WSU

Leanne Hunt/Joan Lynch

    Project TitleImplementation and evaluation of a fractured ribs pathway across an area health service

    Course level

     Masters

    Aims and Objectives

    The objectives of this project are to optimise the implementation of and evaluate the effectiveness of a fractured ribs pathway across the South Western Sydney LHD

    Background

    The current management is to transfer patients with fractured ribs that present to metropolitan hospitals within SWSLHD to the area Trauma centre (Liverpool Hospital) for monitoring, intensive physiotherapy and analgesia. The fractured ribs pathway offers an alternative pathway where patients receive intensive physiotherapy and pain relief at their presenting hospital.

    Methodology

    A pre and post implementation design to test the effectiveness (safety) of the fractured ribs pathway across the SWSLHD
    SupervisorSteve Frost 

    Contact Details

     S.Frost@westernsydney.edu.au
    Supervisory Team

    Nevenka Francis- Area Clinical Nurse Consultant SWSLHD

    Lauren Metcalfe

      Project TitleMental Health Nursing Research Priorities (The ‘Priorities’ Study)

      Course level

      Masters

      Aims and Objectives

      Aim: To identify and explore mental health nurses’ views and beliefs about the areas/topics of research which hold the most potential for improving patient care.

      Objectives:

      • Develop a valid scale to identify and explore MHNs views about clinically beneficial research priorities and explore differences between demographically defined groups
      • Develop and deepen our understanding about research priorities for Mental Health Nursing
      • Contribute to the development a programme of important and clinically relevant Mental Health Nursing research for SWSLHD in partnership with the CANR/WSU

      Background

      Mental health nursing aspires to be an evidence-based profession but clinical nurses themselves often fail to see the advantages of research for their practice. While numerous studies have attempted to define and demarcate the role of the Mental Health Nurse, and to present a coherent picture of the research needed to support such a development, none so far has aimed to quantify the perceived importance of particular research questions or topic areas. Development of a validated scale will facilitate the identification of important research questions, and will lead to further projects where those priories can be compared with those of other important stakeholders (e.g. patients/ service users; service managers. MHN academics).

      Methodology

      SWSLHD-wide cohort survey of CNCs; classical test development methods.
      SupervisorGeoff Dickens 

      Contact Details

      Geoffrey.Dickens@health.nsw.gov.au 
      Supervisory Team

      Geoff Dickens, Professor Mental Health Nursing, WSU

          Project TitleTherapeutic Leave in aCute mental health services: TLC

          Course level

           Honours/Masters/PhD

          Aims and Objectives

          Aim: Explore the use and perceived benefits of therapeutic leave from acute inpatient mental health services

          Objectives:

          • Describe the extent and nature of use of therapeutic leave from acute mental health services
          • Identify the perceived benefits of leave as experienced by inpatients and nurses
          • Identify current nursing practice around supporting therapeutic leave

          Background

          Therapeutic leave (i.e. exiting the hospital when still an inpatient) is a key element of the therapeutic regime in mental health care. The management of the implementation of therapeutic leave for patients is central to the mental health nursing role. Despite this, the issue of therapeutic leave is almost evidence-free in terms of its use (e.g., what are its benefits, what is the optimum time of introduction, how should decisions be made), and its effectiveness (Barlow & Dickens, 2018). Almost all relevant research focuses on preventing ‘absconding’ i.e. unauthorised leave and there has been little space to develop proactive leave-related practice that actively benefits patients.

          Methodology

           Mixed methods: Hospital records, survey questionnaires, qualitative interviews.
          Supervisor Geoff Dickens

          Contact Details

           Geoffrey.Dickens@health.nsw.gov.au
          Supervisory Team

          Geoff Dickens, Professor Mental Health Nursing, WSU

            Project TitleValidation of the Attitudes to Self-cutting Management Scale (ASc-M)

            Course level

             Honours/Masters/PhD

            Aims and Objectives

            Aim: To explore mental health nurses and patients attitudes towards the management of self-harm (specifically self-cutting) in inpatient services

            Objectives:

            • Test an existing tool (ASc-M Scale, Hosie & Dickens) to ascertain its suitability and feasibility for use in Australia
            • Identify the relative acceptability of multiple methods of management for self-harming behaviour (notably self- cutting which may facilitate a harm reduction approach
            • Inform relevant policy and practice about self-harm management in the inpatient environment

            Background

            Coercive approaches to the management of self-harm are increasingly seen as unacceptable and the viability of so-called harm reduction approaches has been championed. However, little is known about the relative acceptability and effectiveness of various approaches. A recently UK-developed tool, the ASc-M, aims to quantify attitudes of nurses and patients about these issues. The study has the potential to inform training needs, ensure practice is informed by user-priorities, and that nurses feel consulted about acceptable practice.

            Methodology

            SWSLHD-wide cohort survey of inpatient-based MHNs and inpatients.
            Supervisor Geoff Dickens

            Contact Details

             Geoffrey.Dickens@health.nsw.gov.au
            Supervisory Team

            Geoff Dickens, Professor Mental Health Nursing, WSU

            Nutmeg Hallett, Lecturer , University of Birmingham

              Project TitleExploring the Child and Family Health Work in SWSLHD

              Course level

              Masters

              Aims and Objectives

              To assess the Child and Family Health workforce and workload

              Background

              Research into the Child and Family Health (CFH) primary care workforce is sparse. What is known is that SWSLHD is an area with a projected population growth and that the demand for services will increase. This project will explore the CFH workforce and work activities to inform for future planning needs.

              Methodology

              Multiple methods: staff survey & work sampling
              SupervisorDr Nicole Blay

              Contact Details

              Nicole.Blay@westernsydney.edu.au
              Supervisory Team

              Dr Nicole Blay

                Project TitleThe Lived Experience of Male Midwives

                Course level

                Honours/Masters/PhD

                Aims and Objectives

                To explore the lived experience of male midwives

                Background

                Research into the experiences of male nurses is well established in the literature. What is not known are the experiences of male midwives including male midwifery students. 

                Methodology

                Descriptive Phenomenology
                SupervisorProfessor Martin Christensen

                Contact Details

                m.christensen@westernsydney.edu.au
                Supervisory Team

                Professor Martin Christensen

                  Project TitleThe Lived Experience of Military Male Nurses

                  Course level

                  Honours/Masters/PhD

                  Aims and Objectives

                  To explore the lived experience of military male nurses

                  Background

                  Research into the experiences of male nurses is well established in the literature. What is not known are the experiences of male nurses currently serving with the military services.

                  Methodology

                  Descriptive Phenomenology
                  SupervisorProfessor Martin Christensen

                  Contact Details

                  m.christensen@westernsydney.edu.au 
                  Supervisory Team

                  Professor Martin Christensen

                    Project TitleThe ICU Door: Hospitality and Hostility. Examining the experiences of families who enter and exit the ICU door

                    Course level

                    Honours/Masters/PhD

                    Aims and Objectives

                    To explore the experiences of family members visiting ICU patients in particular those feelings faced with entering the ICU

                    Background

                    Research into family experiences of visiting a loved one in the ICU has identified a number experiences and feelings that range from disbelief, bewilderment, being scared and overwhelmed. However, there is very little evidence of the experiences of family members as the wait and congregate in the waiting room prior to entering the ICU. In particular this study will explore what the meaning of the ICU door means to them.

                    Methodology

                    Descriptive Phenomenology
                    SupervisorProfessor Martin Christensen

                    Contact Details

                    m.christensen@westernsydney.edu.au
                    Supervisory Team

                    Professor Martin Christensen


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