USQ Fraser Coast, a rich base for research

UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland is recognised for its multi-disciplinary research programs that tackle national and global challenges as well as those affecting people living in regional areas.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said USQ Fraser Coast had a proud record of academic achievement with many of its staff undertaking diverse topics of research.

“The focus for some areas being researched locally include childhood immunisation, patient perspectives on hand hygiene and the experiences of Indigenous students in the Bachelor of Nursing program,” Professor Thomas said.

“Other higher degree topics under investigation are parenting, child and adolescent psychopathology, medication administration practices, optimal diet during early infancy, and microfinance for social capital.

“Findings from these studies will contribute to existing knowledge and improve current practices in their related disciplines and professions.”

Fraser Coast Executive Manager Brett Langabeer said the research activities underway at the campus in Hervey Bay have also involved members of the local community.

“USQ is proud to support these community linkages. Research performed in this way provides real resolutions to issues of local concern.”

Researchers include:

Dr Michelle Adamson – Parenting, child and adolescent psychopathology, particularly disorders of feeding and eating. Dr Adamson is a registered psychologist and lecturer who has published on behavioural family interventions for difficult and picky eating among toddlers and pre-schoolers, the role of fathers at mealtimes, and classroom triggers associated with ADHD.

Julie Martyn – Medication administration practices. Medication errors in hospitals have been recognised as a serious patient safety matter. Too often the complex nature of the process puts nurses at risk of making errors and yet most often the patient receives the correct medicine. Nursing actions that contribute to patient safety are under recognised.  This inquiry exposes the positive practices of nurses towards patient-centered care.

Ruth Newby – Optimal diet during early infancy, a crucial foundation for lifelong health. Ms Newby’s research centres on how families find information on breastfeeding, infant formula and early non-milk foods. She has also conducted research into the risks to infants of unsafe food and fluids during times of emergency and natural disaster.

Ratna Paudyal – Microfinance and socio-economic sustainability in Nepal: an integrated approach. Mr Paudyal’s research focuses on understanding the impacts of integrated microfinance in living conditions of impoverished people in Nepal. It is believed that integrated microfinance has the potential to enhance the capacities of individuals and contributes to socio-economic development.

Kristina Cornelius – Infant immunisation is an effective measure to protect communities from disease. Australia maintains immunisation rates above World Health Organisation recommendations. Areas of high population can conceal elevated numbers of infants who are not fully immunised. Mrs Cornelius’s research focuses on immunisation rates of infants aged 12-15 months within the Wide Bay region.

 PHOTO: USQ Fraser Coast researchers include (l-r) Dr Michelle Adamson, Kristina Cornelius, Ruth Newby and Julie Martyn.
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