Research

Detailed below are the current Research Projects Nunkuwarrin Yunti are involved in as well as a brief overview of some past projects.

Healing the past by nurturing the future: perinatal screening & support for Aboriginal parents who have experienced complex trauma in their own childhoods

This study aims to develop culturally acceptable and feasible perinatal strategies to identify and enable healing and recovery of Aboriginal parents who have experienced complex childhood trauma themselves, to prevent intergenerational trauma.

The study is being led by Dr Catherine Chamberlain from La Trobe University, and supported locally by psychologist Dr Yvonne Clark from SAHMRI. Funding for the study is provided by the Lowitja Institute and the National Medical Research Council.

A collaborative agreement has been established between Nunkuwarrin Yunti, the study team, and several other Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across Victoria and NT; and staff from Nunkuwarrin Yunti’s Women’s Children’s Family Health program are helping to co-design awareness, recognition, assessment and support strategies.

For more information click here

This four-year study commenced in January 2018 and is due for completion in December 2021.

ASQ:Extended TRAK – a child development outcome measure for Australian Aboriginal children

This study aims to develop the ASQ:Extended TRAK, a child development outcome measure for Aboriginal children that will be used to assess individual child developmental progress and evaluate the impact of early childhood programs.

The study is being led by Anita D’Aprano from the University of Melbourne and has received funding from the NT Department of Education, and through a Melbourne Graduate School of Education Seed Funding Grant and Melbourne Medical School Seed Funding Grant.

Nunkuwarrin Yunti staff from the Women’s Children’s Family Health program will participate in focus group interviews with researchers to discuss the items in the current ASQ development tool and how these can be modified to ensure they are culturally-appropriate.

Career pathways for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals

This study aims to provide insights and guidance to enhance the capacity of the health system to retain and support the professional development and careers of Aboriginal people in the health services workforce. The study is being led by Karrina DeMasi from the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT).

Several Nunkuwarrin Yunti staff participated in one-on-one interviews with the researcher to explore their professional experiences in the Aboriginal health sector.

Participant interviews were completed November 2018 and we are awaiting final reports and publications.

Aboriginal Cardiovascular Omega 3 Trial

The Aboriginal Cardiovascular Omega 3 Trial is a NHMRC funded study led by Prof Alex Brown of the Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

The Aboriginal Cardiovascular Omega 3 Trial is a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind multi-centre clinical trial which aims to find out if Aboriginal patients who have coronary artery disease (CAD) will be better protected from having “heart attacks” by taking an Omega 3 oil supplement. The trial also aims to find out what effect Omega 3 has on some of the factors associated with adverse cardiovascular events.

The project brings together a team of investigators from the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI. Prof Robert Gibson, Prof Prash Sanders, and Dr Scott Willoughby are Chief Investigators on the team which is led by Prof Alex Brown.

Recruitment for this study has finished and we are awaiting the findings. For more information click here .

Evaluation in Health Promotion

The research project will examine the factors that influence how evaluation is conducted and used in health promotion and primary prevention programs, as well as investigating strategies that could be used to build evaluation capacity in the field. This outcomes from this research will hopefully provide information for organisations and policy makers looking to improve evaluation and health promotion practice, and ultimately, improve the health of populations.

Potential benefits to participants are that organisations and individuals will have the opportunity to engage in reflection about their own evaluation practices that may lead to organisational improvements and skill development. Participating organisations and staff will also have the opportunity to attend dissemination workshops to hear and discuss findings of the research first hand.

Data collection for this study is complete and we are awaiting the final findings.

Testing and positivity rates for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

This study aims to identify trends in diagnostic testing for sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and STI test positivity rates in SA Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) and to evaluate the impact of the AHCSA Sexual Health Program using routinely collected, de-identified STI diagnostic data. The study will be looking at STI testing data from 2008-2016 for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomonas.

Analysis of the data is complete. The main findings of the project are that STI testing at SA Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services has increased significantly during the 9-year study period (2008-2016), and positivity for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomonas declined during this time.

A Framework to assist Aboriginal Health Services to develop Best Practice Models of primary healthcare service delivery (CREATE Case Study)

The CREATE study aims to enhance the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector capacity to delivery primary health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This will be achieved by working in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and their affiliates to: use existing and new evidence to improve health care services and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples; and strengthen the capacity of staff working within ACCHOs and their affiliates.

Nunkuwarrin Yunti is participating in this study by contributing to a case study about Accreditation. This is looking at assessing ways of streamlining the accreditation process through identification of appropriate accreditation systems, and minimising duplication across multiple accreditation standards.

For more information on CREATE – click here.

All case studies are now complete, and we are awaiting final reports and publications.

Supporting Indigenous Primary Care Services to Reduce the Harms of Alcohol

This study aims to develop and evaluate a whole of service approach to increase uptake of evidence-based treatment for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care settings targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The study will test (using a cluster randomised controlled trial design) whether a collaborative, service-level intervention can result in improved rates of recommended screening and provision of treatment for unhealthy alcohol use (i.e. for drinking above recommended limits, including alcohol use disorders). The research team from the University of Sydney will support implementation of Nunkuwarrin Yunti identified solutions, which could include training, resources and refinement of practice software.

Nunkuwarrin Yunti is one of 11 active sites around Australia involved in this study.

Proposed Completion Date: May 2021

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexual Health Surveillance Network (ATLAS)

The primary objective of the ATLAS project is to establish a national sentinel sexually transmitted infections (STI) and blood borne virus (BBV) surveillance system among Aboriginal primary health care services for surveillance, monitoring and evaluation purposes.

The secondary objectives include:

  • to develop a national agreed set of STI and BBV clinical indicators
  • to monitor trends in STI and BBV testing, positivity, and clinical management as per clinical indicators over time;
  • to monitor trends in STI and BBV knowledge, risk practices and health service access of young people in order to help shape future primary care interventions;
  • to establish a network to enable planners and policy makers to determine where interventions are most needed and how well they are working;
  • and to build the capacity of participating hubs and sites to use data for quality improvement processes

Nunkuwarrin Yunti has previous experience in STI/BBV research and recognizes the importance of best practice care to treat and prevent STI/BBV infections.

Proposed Completion Date: December 2020

For more information on any of the above studies Nunkuwarrin Yunti is involved in, please contact the Data Quality and Research Officer on 08 8406 1600

Involvement in recently completed research projects

Nunkuwarrin Yunti has also been involved in the below listed projects that have recently come to completion:

  • A Strategy for Type 2 Diabetes Care in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in South Australia
  • Getting It Right process evaluation: Views of primary health care staff and decision-makers of Indigenous focused health research teams involving external researchers
  • Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) Programme Evaluation