Flinders Centre for Clinical Change and Health Care Research was founded to address the challenges of the ageing Australian population combined with the expanding costs of providing optimal health care. Our key strategic focus, research direction and collaborations are toward the effective and cost efficient delivery of clinical therapies and facilitation of their translation into improved clinical practice and outcomes. Members of the Centre undertake and publish high value research in one or more of the following areas of focus:
- prevention and management of chronic conditions
- implementation research
- evidence based clinical practice
- health economics
- effectiveness of therapy
For more information about specific research projects see our current research.
Chronic conditions refer to those people with long term medical (diseases), psychiatric disorders and disabilities or combinations of these in the one person. The primary aim of researchers engaged in this theme is to improve the health outcomes of people with chronic conditions. As many chronic conditions are caused or exacerbated by individual behaviour and psychosocial factors, prevention and management of chronic conditions have considerable overlap. Therefore, this theme focuses on the full range of research including:
- underlying pathology, mechanisms or aetiology
- clinical treatments
- management by teams of health professionals from all health disciplines.
Research focuses on both the individual with the condition and populations of people with chronic conditions. There is an emphasis on research into:
- the role of the person with the chronic condition
- the role of family and carers in the management of their condition(s)
- health system factors that influence health outcomes at the individual and population level.
Research findings cannot change health outcomes unless they are adopted. Implementation research involves the study of changing behaviour and maintaining change. It is the scientific study of methods to:
- promote the systematic uptake of clinical research findings and evidence-based practice into routine practice
- improve the quality (effectiveness, reliability, safety, appropriateness, equity and efficiency) of healthcare.
In relation to health programs and innovation, it is research that focuses on the question ‘What is happening?’ in the design, implementation, administration, operation, services and outcomes of social programs.
Implementation research is focused on the process, not simply the impact, and seeks to answer questions about what is happening, whether it is what was expected and, importantly, why things are happening as they are. It may use both quantitative and qualitative methods, but is generally directed towards problems that do not have a simple, sharply focused numerical answer. It includes the study of any strategy that may influence healthcare professional, organisational or consumer behaviour. It is therefore relevant to all clinical contexts and all players in the healthcare environment (patients, healthcare workers, service providers and policy makers).
This research theme seeks to evaluate the current disease-specific barriers to care from the perspective of the patient, the clinician and the health care system.
The delivery of modern medical care is informed by a substantial evidence-base. Often these data have been assimilated into clinical practice guidelines, yet challenges in the translation of evidence remain. Factors contributing to this set of barriers include:
- patient complexity
- limited resources
- health service contextual factors.
Through innovative clinical trial designs, as well as biostatistical and health economic techniques, this research agenda also evaluates the comparative effectiveness of current therapies in emerging indications and novel therapies among common clinical problems. This research theme is directed at informing the substantial future health policy needs by defining value in delivery of clinical care while identifying the facilitators of effective clinical care, thereby enabling the effective translation of innovation to outcome.
The main purpose of this theme is the examination of cost effectiveness of health care interventions and services, in particular, our focus is on:
- the measurement and valuation of health outcomes for economic evaluation
- the economic evaluation of new and emerging health care technologies
- the methodology and application of discrete choice experiments (DCE) for the quantification of patient and general population preferences for health and health care treatments and services
Current health economics collaborations include:
- A health economic model for the development and evaluation of innovations in aged care
- Adolescent population health: application of Best-Worst Scaling Discrete Choice Experiments to value health states for use in economic evaluation
- Economic evaluation of OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle)
- Economic evaluation of acupuncture to improve live birth rates for women undergoing IVF
- Engaging the public in healthcare decision making: Quantifying preferences for healthcare through Citizens' Juries
The aim of the Effectiveness of Therapy Research Group is to enhance the effectiveness of therapy interventions for improved health and wellbeing across the lifespan from urban community to rural settings (Better Care; Better Health; Lower Costs).
Researchers in the group belong to the Disciplines of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, and Medicine. Bringing together researchers from several allied health disciplines has created a wide range of expertise encompassing many important areas of therapy. These include neurological cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, neuroscience and brain simulation exercise and self-efficacy, acute cardiorespiratory care, allied healthcare delivery and rural health practice. Research is underpinned by extensive clinical experience in these areas. Researchers in the Effectiveness of Therapy Group have experience in managing large clinical trials using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies conducting laboratory-based experiments using Transcranial Magnetic Simulation (TMS) and collaborating in research that informs models of therapy delivery, cost effectiveness and strategic policy in healthcare. A principal aim of this research group is to collaborate with allied healthcare practitioners in clinical practice to increase the evidence-base underpinning these professions and to facilitate translation of research outcomes into clinical settings to improve healthcare.