Promoting health and wellbeing in population groups

Research priorities

Understanding how health and wellbeing interacts with risk and social determinants for individuals and families across the life course.

Our academics are working on a range of areas including the study of risks during pregnancy and infancy, growing up in disadvantaged families, the impact of violence and trauma on wellbeing of children and women, ageing well in residential care and in the community, older people living in poverty and palliative care.


Our academics have international and national profiles in their fields.  Their work has implications for policy development in ante-natal and post-natal care, interventions to supporting families, developing interventions to assist women and children who have experienced trauma, and housing and homelessness policy for older people at risk, and informing palliative care practices.

The output of this group includes books, reports for governments and publications in high ranking journals.

Staff overview

Theme leader: Maree Petersen

Jacquie Jauncey-Cooke, Jill Wilson, Robyne Le Brocque, Nigel Lee, Susannah Brady, Karen New, Deborah Lynch, Karen Healy, Catherine Kilgour, Susan Nunan, Sue Kildea, Deb Walsh, Anthony Tuckett, Annemarie Carroll, Wojtek Tomaszewski, Phillip Gillingham, Marion Tower, Paul Harnett


Research projects

Non-lethal strangulation

Investigators: Walsh, D, McNabb, C, Johnson, A., Cabilan, C, Newcombe, P, & McCutcheon, H.


A Study of Judgment and Decision-Making in Child Protection: Taking Account of Context and Cultural Identities in Keeping Children Safe 

Funding body: Faculty of Health and Behavioral Science Research Collaboration Seeding Grant

Investigators: Dr Deborah Lynch, Professor Karen Healy, Dr Philip Gillingham, Dr Marion Tower and Dr Paul Harnett


Exploring Cultural Safety within Hospital and Community Health Care using a Participatory Action Research Framework: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young Peoples’ Experiences

Investigators: Dr Jacqueline Jauncey-Cooke, Leannie Craigie (Indigenous Health Coordinator, Children’s Health Queensland), Dr Deborah Lynch


Young People, Education and Communities Working Together

Funding body: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Strategic Funding Initiative (SFI), Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET)                           

Investigators: Professor Annemaree Carroll, Professor Martin Mills, Dr Deborah Lynch, Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski, Dr Peter Westoby, Dr Louise Phillips, Professor Liz Mackinley.  


Diaries for Intensive Care Unit Survivors DIsCUSs

Funding body: Nursing and Midwifery Research Fellowship

Investigators: Aitken, Kenardy, Le Brocque, Ullman, Mitchell, Godsen


Feasibility and pilot testing of an individualised psychological intervention for survivors of critical illness

Funding body: Queensland Department of Health

Investigators: Aitken, Kenardy, Mitchell, Castillo, Ullman, Davis, Le Brocque, Wetzigk


Impact on Caesarean Section Rates Follow Injections of Sterile Water (ICARIS Trial)

Funding body: NHMRC


  1. Professor Sue Kildea
  2. Dr Lena Martensson
  3. Professor Joan Webster
  4. Professor Caroline Homer
  5. Dr Helen Stapleton
  6. Dr Michael Beckmann
  7. Dr Yu Gao
  8. Dr Kristen Gibbons
  9. Dr Nigel Lee


The Partograph Trial


  1. Professor Sue Kildea
  2. Dr Nigel Lee 
  3. Dr Y Gao


Sterile Water Injections: four versus two (SWIFT Trial)

Investigators: Dr Nigel Lee, Professor Sue Kildea, Bernadette Leiser, Yvonne Halter – Wherli, Professor Lena Martennson, Professor Ingrid Berg, Associate Professor Kristen Gibbons


Perineal Outcomes Project

Investigators: Dr Nigel Lee, Professor Sue Kildea, Dr Yu Goa, Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, Dr Jyai Allen


The life course and experience of older people in precarious housing: lessons for social policy and addressing disadvantage

Funding body: Australian Research Council Discovery

Investigators: Petersen, M. &  Tilse, C.


Understanding the impact on older people’s health and independence of living in private rented housing

Funding body: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Collaboration Seeding Grant

Investigators: Petersen, M. & Aplin, T.  


Effectiveness of a new social intervention to increase community connectedness and reduce psychological distress in adults transitioning home after long-term hospital care

Funding body: Collaboration Seeding Grant Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, UQ. Metro North

Investigators: Haslam, Whitmoare, Cruwys, Bruggeman, Lynch, Jetten, Johnson, Stephens, Saxby, Petersen, Panchana


The effectiveness of group-based exercise physiology services at alleviating multiple morbidities associated with ageing

Investigators: Tuckett, A., Hetherington, S., Stewart-Smith, K., Pacek, S., Caitens, T


Active @ Home: Implementing an in-home exercise program for older adults receiving aged care services

Funding body: Brisbane North PHN and the Healthy @ Home Aged Care Consortium

Investigators: Henwood, T., Hetherington, S., Morrow, J., Byrnes, G., Rouse, K., Tuckett, A.


Our Voice. Trial of the Stanford Our Voice Framework and Discovery Tool (The BRAE Project)

Funding body: 2017/18 UQ Summer Research Project (UQ Experiences, Careers, Employability+ NMSW)

Investigators: Tuckett, A., Gardiner, P., Freeman, A., Hetherington, S., Rouse, K.


Examination of the content and the patterns of content in Triage documentation

Funding body: 2016/17 UQ Summer Research Program (UQ Experiences, Careers, Employability + NMSW)

Investigators: Jory, M., Tuckett, A., Hughes, J., Eley, R.


Citizen science global network: Advancing citizen science in the Asia-Pacific

Funding body: UQ Global Strategy and Partnership Seed Funding Scheme

Investigators: Gardiner, P., Tuckett, A., King, A., Winter, S.


Muscling-up against disability in older adults with home care packages: Implementing an evidence-based progressive resistance training service model of care

Funding body: Aged Care Services Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants, Department of Social services (2016-2018)

Investigators: Henwood, T., Keogh, J. Gardiner, P., Tuckett, A., Rouse, K., et al


HDR students




Project Title/Description

Khandakar Josia Nishat


Dr Deborah Walsh, Dr Mohammed Khan, Professor Heather Douglas 

Political and Legal Empowerment of Women and Their Relationship to Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the Context of Norms, Values and Traditions: A Study of `Eve teasing' (Street/Public Harassment of Women and Girls) in Bangladesh.

David Burck


Dr Deborah Walsh, Dr Debby Lynch

Adolescent to mother violence

Carmela Lagasca


Dr Deborah Walsh, Dr Diane Hafner

Parenting experience of Filipino migrants and their partners in Australia.

Su-Fen Kwa


Professor Jill Wilson, Professor Michele Foster

An exploration of patient participation in long-term mechanical ventilation initiation decision-making in Singapore

Fiona McColl PhD Dr Debby Lynch, Dr Deborah Walsh Blood and water: exploring the links between family estrangement and relatedness

Fiona Jarrett


Dr Maree Petersen, Professor Jill Wilson

Supported housing options for people with severe and enduring mental illness: finding a life worth living with limited capacity on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Annerley Clarke PhD Professor Karen Healy, Dr Deborah Lynch Stability in Statutory Kinship Care Placements
Rachel Rason MPhil Dr Marion Tower, Dr Robyne Le Brocque, Dr Debora Osborne Perceive Factors Enhancing Resilience in Practice
Victoria Wilson PhD Dr Robyne Le Brocque, Dr John Drayton Nothing about us without us: A mixed methods investigation into trauma-informed teaching of adult English as an additional language students at Australian universities
Carmel Fleming PhD Dr Robyne Le Brocque, Professor Karen Healy Implementing and evaluating family inclusive practice in adult eating disorders: A stepped care approach to working with families of adults affected by eating disorders
Viktoria Vibhaker PhD Dr Robyne Le Brocque, Professor Justin Kenardy The Manifestation of Post-Traumatic Stress in Children and Young Persons aged 7-14 years and its Implication for the PTSD Diagnosis (under review)
Nikki Triggell PhD Dr Robyne Le Brocque, Professor Justin Kenardy The impact of disaster-related trauma on achievement outcomes of Australian children and young people (on parental leave)
Loretta Anderson PhD

Professor Sue Kildea, Dr Nigel Lee, Dr Kate Kynoch

Early establishment of milk supply in mothers of preterm infants less than 34 weeks
Richard Kodom PhD Michele Brady, Dr Maree Petersen Homelessness
Grace Xu PhD Dr Anthony Tuckett, Associate Professor Peter Newcombe, Dr Robert Eley The feasibility and efficiency of using a Smartphone Application to practice daily 10 minutes guided-meditation to manage stress and cultivate resiliency for emergency clinicians
Natalie Bailey MPhil Dr Anthony Tuckett, Dr Robert Eley A mixed method single case study exploration of the flexible ward practice environment and its impact on Registered Nurses
Adam Burston PhD (Awarded 2018) Tuckett, A., Eley, R., Parker, D.

Moral distress and the Australian aged care worker. A mixed methods study

Related publications

Name of publication


Decision making in child and family welfare: the role of tools and practice frameworks

Children Australia, 42 1: 49-56. doi:10.1017/cha.2016.51

Gillingham, Philip, Harnett, Paul, Healy, Karen, Lynch, Debby and Tower, Marion (2017)

Postnatal gestational diabetes mellitus follow-up: Australian women's experiences. Women and Birth, 28 4: 285-292. doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2015.06.004 Kilgour, Catherine, Bogossian, Fiona Elizabeth, Callaway, Leonie and Gallois, Cindy (2015)
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) follow-up in the early postnatal period. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 213: 44-44
Kilgour, Catherine (2013)
(In Press) Cognitive/ Affective Factors are Associated with Children's Acute Posttraumatic Stress Following Pediatric Intensive Care. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Dow, B., Kenardy, J., Long, D., & Le Brocque, R.
(2017) The Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. 8(Sup7) Schnyder, Schafer, Aakvaag, … Le Brocque
(2017). Schools and Natural Disaster Recovery: The Unique and Vital Role That Teachers and Education Professionals Play in Ensuring the Mental Health of Students Following Natural Disasters. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools. 27(1): 263-268.

Le Brocque, R., De Young, A., Montague, G., Pocock, S., March, S., Triggell, N., Rabaa, C., Kenardy, J.

(2017) Perspectives of patients and family members regarding psychological support using intensive care diaries: An exploratory mixed methods study. Journal of Critical Care. 38:263-268  DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.12.003 Aitken, L.M., Rattray, J., Kenardy, J., Hull, A., Ullman, A., Le Brocque, R., Mitchell, M., Davis, C., Castillo, M.I., Macfarlane, B.
(2016). Diaries for Intensive Care Unit Survivors (DISCUSS): Perspectives of patients and family members regarding psychological support. Australian Critical Care 29(2): 110-111 Aitken, L.M.; Rattray, J.; Kenardy, J.; Le Brocque, R. et al.
(2016). Parent-reported health-related quality of life in children with traumatic brain injury: A prospective study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 41(2): 244-255 Brown, E.A., Kenardy, J., Chandler, B., Anderson, V., McKinlay, L., & Le Brocque, R

(2015). Parent-reported health-related quality of life in children with traumatic brain injury: A prospective study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Brown, E.A., Kenardy, J., Chandler, B., Anderson, V., McKinlay, L., & Le Brocque, R.

(2015) Intensive care diaries to promote recovery for patients and families after critical illness: A Cochrane Systematic Review. International Journal of Nursing Studies.

Ullman, A.J., Aitken, L.M., Rattray, J., Kenardy, J., Le Brocque, R.M., MacGillivray, S., Hull, A.M.

Diaries for recovery from critical illness. (2014) The Cochrane database of systematic reviews Volume: 12. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010468.pub2

Ullman, A.J., Aitken, L.M., Rattray, J., et al.

(2013) The use of diaries in psychological recovery from intensive care. Critical Care, 17(6) DOI: 10.1186/cc13164

Aitken, L. M., Rattray, J., Hull, A., et al.

(2013). The diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in school-aged children and adolescents following Pediatric Intensive Care Unit admission. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 23(9), 614-619.

Dow, B., Kenardy, J., Le Brocque, R., & Long, D.

(2013) Diaries for recovery from critical illness (Protocol). Cochrane Library, Issue 4. Ullman, A.J., Aitken, L.M., Rattray, J., Kenardy, J., Le Brocque, R., MacGillivray, S., & Hull, A.M.
Perineal injury associated with hands on/hands poised and directed/undirected pushing: A retrospective cross-sectional study of non-operative vaginal births in an Australian hospital, 2011 to 2016

Lee, N., Firmin, M., Gao, Y., Kildea, S

Sterile water injections for childbirth pain: An evidenced based guide to practice

Mårtensson, Lena B., Hutton, Eileen K., Lee, Nigel, Kildea, Sue, Gao, Yu, Bergh, Ingrid

Comparing different partograph designs for use in standard labor care: A pilot randomized trial

Lee, N., Neal, J.,  Lowe, N. K., Kildea, S.

The experiences of midwives giving women sterile water injections for the relief of back pain in labour

Lee, N., Kildea, S., Stapleton, H

Living in a retirement village: Choice, contracts and constraints, Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 36, 4, 313-317.

Petersen, M., Tilse, C., Cockburn, T., (in press)
Cost Offsets of Supportive Housing: Evidence for Social Work." British Journal of Social Work, 47,5,1534-1553. Parsell, C., Petersen M., Culhane, D. (in press).
Addressing older women’s homelessness: service and housing models. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50, 4, 419-438. Petersen, M. (2015)
Understanding the influence of community characteristics on wellness for rural older adults: A meta-synthesis, Journal of Rural Studies, 45, 320-327. Winterton, R., Warburton, J., Keating, N., Petersen, M., Berg, T., Wilson, J. (2016)
Single-site supportive housing: Tenant perspectives, Housing Studies, 30, 8, 1189-1209. Parsell, C., Petersen, M., Moutou, O. (2015)
The Space of Family Care-Giving in Australian Aged Care Facilities: Implications for Social Work, British Journal of Social Work, 46, 1, 81-97. Petersen, M., Wilson, J., Wright, O., Ward, E., Capra, S. (2016)
Homeless for the first time in later life: an Australian study. Housing Studies, 30, 3, 368-391. Petersen, M. & Parsell, C. (2014)
(2018). Engineering improved balance confidence among older adults with complex health care needs: Learning from the Muscling Up Against Disability study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.03.004 Hetherington, S., Henwood, T., Swinton, P., Keogh, J., Gardiner, P., Tuckett, A.
(2018). The built environment and older adults: A literature review and an applied approach to engaging older adults in built environment improvements for health. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 13(1), doi: 10.1111/opn.12171 Tuckett, A., Banchoff, A., Winter, S., King, A.

(2017). Muscling Up Against Disability: Project Report. Brisbane: Burnie Brae Ltd.  ISBN 978-0-6482347-0-8

Hetherington, S., Henwood, T., Keogh, J., Gardiner, P., Tuckett, A., Rouse, K.

(2017) Image and messaging: Recruiting the right nurses for the profession 

Nurse Education Today, 55: 77-81

Tuckett, A., Kim, H., Huh, J.

(2017) Examining evidence base resistance plus balance training in community-dwelling older adults with complex health care needs: Trial protocol for the Muscling-Up Against Disability project

Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 68: 97-1-5
Keogh, J., Henwood, Y., Gardiner, P., Tuckett, A. et al

Validation of an instrument to measure moral distress within the Australian residential and community care environments

International journal of Older People Nursing, 12(2), doi: 10.1111/opn.12144.

Burston, A., Eley, R., Parker, D., Tuckett, A.

(2016) Experiences of Australian and New Zealand nursing and midwifery graduates looking for employment

International Journal of Nursing Practice, 22:616-624
Tuckett, A., Oliffe, J.


ED Staff, PA Hospital 

Queensland Department of Education and Training

Professor Martin Mills, Director of the Centre for Research on Teachers and Teaching at the Institute of Education, University College London

Professor Justin Kenardy, UQ

Dr Alex De Young, UQ

Dr Belinda Dow, UQ

Dr Amanda Ullman, QHealth

Dr Deb Long

Erin Brown, UQ PhD Candidate

Nikki Triggell, Education Queensland

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Global Collaboration Initiative - International Collaboration

Predicting Acute Child Trauma (PACT) Collaboration - International Collaboration

Professor Lena Martensson, University of Skovde

Professor Ingrid Berg, University of Skovde

Professor Joan Webster, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

Professor Caroline Homer, UTS

Dr Helen Stapleton, Mater Group

Dr Michael Beckman, Mater Group

Dr Kristen Gibbons, Mater Research

Rouse, K., Hetherington, S., Burnie Brae Chermside and Districts Seniors Centre

Brisbane Housing Company


Metro North Queensland Health

King, A., Winter, S., Banchoff, A. and Citizen Science global Network, Stanford University

Gardiner, P., The University of Queensland, Faculty of Medicine

Barrientos, J., Green, S. and the Positive Ageing Journey Organizing & Scientific Committee, LifeTec Australia

For all general current HDR student queries and enquiries related to applications contact the HDR Liaison Officer: or +61 7 3365 7036

For all enquiries related to research in the School, contact the Senior Administration Officer (Research): or +61 7 3365 3005