The LaTrobe ARCH / Melbourne Health Collaboration

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Research Projects

The following projects are indicative of research being conducted as part of the Melbourne Health / La Trobe collaboration.

Family Violence 

Investigators: Melbourne Health Lead – Dr Caroline Fisher; La Trobe University: Professor Karen Willis, Dr Toni Withiel.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) has commenced a three to five year project as part of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) initiative, funded by the Victorian Government. Partnership associations include Tweddle Child and Family Health Service, Dental Health Services Victoria and NorthWestern Mental Health.

This research informed response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission has comprised two studies, following which appropriate training modules for staff and resource kits for patients will be developed. These studies will provide baseline data, to inform evaluation of the SHRFV initiatives being implemented.

  1. Staff survey aimed to determine levels of training, knowledge and confidence working in the area of family violence in clinical staff, as well as staff perceived barriers to working effectively in this area.
  2. Consumer perspectives – a survey seeking to ascertain:
    1. how often and when family violence screening is occurring with clients at the health service
    2. how supported clients feel when family violence disclosures are made;
    3. whether clients perceive that they receive helpful assistance from the health service following disclosure
    4. whether there are clients who would like to disclose information about family violence to the health service but are choosing not to because they do not feel comfortable.

Group-based memory rehabilitation: A multi-centre, phased investigation

Dr Dana Wong (La Trobe University) with Dr Caroline Fisher, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Dr Toni Withiel (La Trobe University).

The group based memory rehabilitation study is a multi-site, clinical implementation project which aims to assess the clinical effectiveness and economic sustainability of the evidence-based memory rehabilitation program for patients with Acquired Brain Injury at Austin Health, Monash Health, Barwon Health, Melbourne Health, Western Health, and Latrobe Regional Hospital. 

Effectiveness of graduate nurse programs on competence, job satisfaction and retention a mixed method, observational study

La Trobe: T.McGillion, M. Charette. RMH:  C. Carbery. Austin: S. Burke

A collaboration between La Trobe University, Melbourne Health and Austin Hospital, employing a mixed method, observational study to explore the effectiveness of graduate nurse programs. Using validated scales, this study examines self -reported job satisfaction and competence over time (0,3,6,9,12 months). 

The value of employing nursing students as health assistants in nursing

La Trobe: T.McGillion, University of Melbourne: Z. Tomkins, J. Martin. RMH: S. Saunders

A collaborative partnership between La Trobe University, Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne, currently piloting surveys. RMH employs Year 3 nursing students from both the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University in the role of Health Assistant in Nursing (HAN).  This study looks at self-reported benefits to the students themselves and to the nurses they work with.

Taking care of those who take care of us – research into Working Time in the Australian health and social assistance sector

La Trobe: N. McNeill, T. McGillion, Royal Melbourne Hospital: Ellen Flint, Denise Heinjus

 This study examines health professional attitudes to the issue to work/life balance.  Staff across the various health professions at RMH will be invited to participate.