Dr Irene Blackberry
John Richards Chair of Rural Ageing and Aged Care Research, Associate Professor and Director, John Richards Initiative
College of Science, Health and Engineering
School of Nursing and Midwifery
John Richards Initiative
BMed GradCert HealthProgEval PhD
Membership of professional associations
President, Australian Association of Gerontology Victoria. Associate Editor, Primary Care Diabetes Europe. Members of NHMRC Research Translation Faculty, Hume Regional Diabetes Collaborative Network, Albury Wodonga Health Primary Care and Population Health Committee, Australian Diabetes Society, American Geriatrics Society, Australasian Association of Academic Primary Care
Area of study
Ageing and aged care
Associate Prof Irene Blackberry is the John Richards Chair of Rural Ageing and Aged Care Research and Director of the John Richards Initiative at La Trobe University, Wodonga since 2016. She has a medical background and health services researcher with significant expertise in designing and conducting complex multifactorial health services intervention. She is the President of Australian Association of Gerontology Victoria and an honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne.
There are two major research streams to her work on chronic diseases and ageing, united by a focus on implementation studies of complex multi-factorial intervention across the community, primary and secondary care setting drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has published over 60 research papers and reports and peer reviewed for leading journals including as a first author in the British Medical Journal and Medical Journal of Australia. She is a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council Research Translation and is an executive committee member and co-founder of the rural chapter of the Australian Association of Gerontology Victoria. She is an Associate Editor of the Primary Care Diabetes Journal. She has supervised 16 research students to completion and is currently co-supervising 3 PhD students.
A/Prof Blackberry has a medical background and completed her PhD at Monash University examining the role of Mediterranean diet and other modifiable risk factors in predicting survival amongst longevity cultures around the world (Food Habits in Later Life). This longitudinal study was conducted under the auspices of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences in conjunction with the World Health Organization.
She was awarded Fellowship at the NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Clinical Science in Diabetes (Diabetes CCRE) in 2008. She was also the recipient of the Inaugural Gwen Scott Diabetes Award (2006), Epidemiology and Public Health aspects of Diabetes (WHO, IDF and Cambridge University, 2006), Australian Association of Academic Primary Care Travelling Fellowship (2013) and Robert Helme Research Excellence Award (2013).
Her current research focuses on improving care delivery for older people with complex chronic conditions in general practice and rural areas. Her research interests include dementia, public health, diabetes, chronic disease, primary care, telehealth, geriatric medicine, rural health and clinical nutrition. A/Prof Blackberry is available for postgraduate research supervision.
- Diabetes, nurse-led intervention, multimorbidity
- Health assessment, healthy ageing
Rural and Regional Health
- Health services in the rural and regional area, general practice, primary care
General Practice Nursing training module in healthy ageing. Australian Medicare Local Alliance (2014). Aged care needs assessment. Macedon Ranges and North West Melbourne Medicare Local (2014)
1. Furler J, O’Neal D, Speight J, Manski-Nankervis J, Young D, Holmes-Truscott E, Gorelik A, Segal L, Liew D, Best J, Blackberry I. Supporting insulin initiation in type 2 diabetes in primary care: Results of the Stepping Up pragmatic cluster randomised controlled clinical trial. BMJ 2017;356:j783 IF 19.69
2. Holmes-Truscott E, Furler J, Blackberry I, O’Neal D, Speight J. Predictors of insulin uptake among adults with type 2 diabetes in the Stepping Up Study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice accepted 2017 Jan. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2017.01.002 IF 2.538
3. Mudge A, Banks M, Barnett A, Blackberry I, Graves N, Green T, Harvey G, Hubbard R, Inouye S, Kurrle S, Lim K, McRae P, Peel N, Suna J, Young A. CHERISH (Collaboration for Hospitalised Elders Reducing the Impact of Stays in Hospital): Protocol for a multi-site improvement program to reduce geriatric syndromes in older inpatients. BMC Geriatrics. 2017; 17(11): 1-9 IF 3.33
4. Blackberry I. Patient treatment and engagement in diabetes. In Patient treatment engagement textbook. O’Donohue W, James L and Snipes, C (Eds.) Springer, USA, 2017. ISBN 978-3-319-49206-3
5. Ervin K, Blackberry I, Haines H. Implementation of shared decision making in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management 2016; 11: 2. IF: 0.778.
6. Rasekaba T, Furler J, Blackberry I, Gray K, Lim K. Telemedicine for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (TeleGDM): A Mixed Method Study Protocol of Effects of an Online-Based GDM Support System on Health Service Utilisation, Maternal and Foetal Outcomes. JMIR Research Protocols JMIR Res Protoc. 2016 Aug 9;5(3):e163. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6044. IF: 4.532.
7. Furler J, Ruddock G, Manski-Nankervis J, Blackberry I, Kennedy M. Identifying Risk for Diabetes in Adolescence (IRDA): A pilot study in general practice. Aus Family Practice. 2016 Aug;45(8):582-6. IF: 0.759.
8. Blackberry I. Primary Health Care and Community Health. In Public Health Textbook for undergraduate. Ed. Liamputtong P. Cambridge University Press, UK Jun 2016. ISBN 10: 1107559596
9. Manski-Nankervis J, Yates C, Blackberry I, Furler J, Cohen N, Gorelik A, Ginnivan L, Young D, Best J, O’Neal D. The impact of insulin initiation on glycaemic variability and the glucose profile in a type 2 diabetes primary health care cohort – Analysis of continuous glucose monitoring data from the INITIATION Study. Diabet Med. 2016 Jun;33(6):803-11. doi: 10.1111/dme.12979. IF: 3.115
10. Holmes-Truscott E, Furler J, Blackberry I, O’Neal D, Speight J. Willingness to initiate insulin among adults with type 2 diabetes in Australian primary care: Results from the Stepping Up Study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2016 Apr;114:126-35. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.12.011. IF: 3.045.
11. Rasekaba T, Furler J, Blackberry I, Tacey M, Gray K, Lim K. A systematic review of telemedicine in gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2015 Aug 1. pii: S0168-8227(15)00329-0. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2015.07.007. IF: 2.538.
12. Manski-Nankervis, J.A., Furler, J., Young, D., Patterson, E., Blackberry, I. Factors associated with relational coordination between health professionals involved in insulin initiation in the general practice setting for people with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2015 May 14. doi: 10.1111/jan.12681. IF: 1,741
13. Halcomb, Elizabeth; Furler, John; Hermiz, Oshana; Blackberry, Irene; Smith, Julie; Richmond, Robyn; Zwar, Nicholas. Process evaluation of a practice nurse-led smoking cessation trial in Australian general practice: views of general practitioners and practice nurses. Family Practice 2015 Aug;32(4):468-73. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmv041. Epub 2015 May 29. IF: 1.69.
14. Blackberry ID, Furler JS, Best JD, Young D. Comment on O'Connor et Al. Randomized trial of telephone outreach to improve medication adherence and metabolic control in adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2015 Mar;38(3):e45. doi: 10.2337/dc14-2599. IF: 8.57.
15. Zwar N, Richmond R, Halcolm E, Furler J, Smith J, Hermiz O, Blackberry I, Borland R. Quit in General Practice: a cluster randomised trial of enhanced in-practice support for smoking cessation. Fam Pract. 2015 Apr;32(2):173-80. IF: 1.69.
16. Furler J, Blackberry I, et al. Perspective: Optimising care and outcomes for people with type 2 diabetes - lessons from a translational research program on insulin initiation in general practice. Front Med (Lausanne). 2015 Jan 29;1:60. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2014.00060. eCollection 2014.
17. Zwar N, Richmond R, Halcomb E, Furler J, Smith J, Hermiz O, Blackberry I, Jayasinghe U, Borland R. Supporting Smoking Cessation In Primary Care: Results Of The Quit In General Practice Study. 2014, Respirology, P. 23-23. IF: 2.51.
18. Zwar N, Richmond RL, Halcomb E, Furler J, Smith J, Hermiz O, Blackberry I, et al. Supporting smoking cessation in Australian primary care: Results of the Quit in General Practice study. Global Heart. 2014;9(1):e232. IF: 0.713
19. Manski-Nankervis JA, Blackberry I, Young D, O'Neal D, Patterson E, Furler J. Relational coordination amongst health professionals involved in insulin initiation for people with type 2 diabetes in general practice: an exploratory survey. BMC Health Serv Res. 2014 Nov 1;14:515. IF: 2.10.
20. Blackberry ID, Furler JS, Ginnivan L, et al. Examining the efficacy of a support algorithm for commencing patients with type 2 diabetes on a basal / prandial insulin regimen in the primary care setting with retrospective continuous glucose monitoring as an adjunct: INITIATION STUDY. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2014; Sep 8. IF: 2.536
21. Blackberry ID, Furler JS, Ginnivan L, et al. Examining the efficacy of a support algorithm for commencing patients with type 2 diabetes on a basal / prandial insulin regimen in the primary care setting with retrospective continuous glucose monitoring as an adjunct: INITIATION STUDY PROTOCOL. BMC Family Practice 2014 May 3;15:82. IF: 2.16.
22. Furler JS, Young D, Best J, Patterson E, O’Neal D, Liew D, Speight J, Segal L, May C, Manski-Nankervis J, Holmes-Truscott E, Ginnivan L, Blackberry I. Can primary care team-based transition to insulin improve outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes? The Stepping Up to Insulin cluster randomised controlled trial protocol. Implementation Science 2014;9:20. IF: 4.04.
23. Manski-Nankervis JA, Furler J, Blackberry I, et al. Roles and relationships between health professionals involved in insulin initiation for people with type 2 diabetes in the general practice setting: a qualitative study drawing on relational coordination theory. BMC Family Practice 2014 Jan 31;15(1):20. IF: 2.16.
24. Furler J, Blackberry I, Walker C, et al. Stepping Up: A nurse-led model of care for insulin initiation for people with type 2 diabetes. Family Practice 2014; Jan 28. IF: 1.861
25. Furler J, O'Neal D, Blackberry I, Manski-Nankervis J. Commencing insulin therapy for people with type 2 diabetes in general practice. Diabetes Management Journal. 2014;47:6-8. IF: 3.00.
26. Haralambous B, Dow B, Blackberry I, et al. Help seeking in older Asian people with dementia in Melbourne: Using the Cultural Exchange Model to explore barriers and enablers. J Cross Cultural Gerontology 2014;Jan 18. IF: 1.61.
27. Russell MA, Hill KD, Day L, Oosterhuis T, Blackberry I, et al. Predictors of long-term function in older community-dwelling people who have presented to an emergency department after a fall: A cohort study. Australasian J on Ageing 2014; Jan 2. IF: 1.119.
28. Manski-Nankervis J, Furler J, Blackberry I, et al. Potentially preventable hospitalisations: Are they a useful marker of access to and experience of care in general practice among people with type 2 diabetes? Aus J Primary Health 2014 Feb 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY13112. IF: 0.76.
29. Marino R, Marwaha P, Collman R, Hopcraft M, Manton D, Mccullogh M, Clarke K, Ozanne E, Blackberry I. Field testing of remote teledentistry technology. E-Telemed J 2014 Feb. ISSN: 2308-4359 ISBN: 978-1-61208-327-8. IF: 1.35.
30. Blackberry ID, Furler JS, Best JD, Chondros P, Vale M, Walker C, Dunning T, Segal L, Dunbar J, Audehm R, Liew D, Young D. Effectiveness of general practice based, practice nurse led telephone coaching on glycaemic control of type 2 diabetes: the Patient Engagement And Coaching for Health (PEACH) pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2013;347:f5272. IF: 19.25.
1. Russell MA, Hill KD, Blackberry I, Day LM, Dharmage SC. The reliability and predictive accuracy of the falls risk for older people in the community assessment (FROP-Com) tool. Age and Ageing 2008;37:634-9
2. Furler J, Walker C, Blackberry I, Dunning T, Sulaiman N, Dunbar J, Best J, Young D. The emotional context of self-management in chronic illness: A qualitative study of the role of health professional support in the self-management of type 2 diabetes. BMC Health Services Research 2008;8
3. Young D, Furler J, Vale M, Walker C, Segal L, Dunning P, Best J, Blackberry I, Audehm R, Sulaiman N, Dunbar J, Chondros P. Patient Engagement and Coaching for Health: The PEACH study - A cluster randomised controlled trial using the telephone to coach people with type 2 diabetes to engage with their GPs to improve diabetes care: A study protocol. BMC Family Practice 2007;8
4. Russell MA, Hill KD, Blackberry I, Day LL, Dharmage SC. Falls risk and functional decline in older fallers discharged directly from emergency departments. Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2006;61:1090-5
5. Blackberry I and Wahlqvist ML. Nutrition and prevention of non-communicable diseases. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2005. ISBN:3-8055-8015-0
6. Wahlqvist ML, Darmadi-Blackberry I, Kouris-Blazos A, Jolley D, Steen B, Lukito W, Horie Y. Does diet matter for survival in long-lived cultures? Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005;14:2-6
7. Darmadi-Blackberry I, Wahlqvist ML, Kouris-Blazos A, Lukito W, Horie K, Horie Y. Legumes: The most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004;13:217-20
8. Wahlqvist ML, Darmadi-Blackberry I, Savige GS, Kouris-Blazos A, Trichopoulos D. Age-fitness. How achievable with food? Forum Nutr 2003;56:258-61
9. Wahlqvist ML, Kouris-Blazos A, Darmadi I, Purba M. Nutrition and the elderly - the global perspective. South Africa Journal of Clinical Nutrition February 2000;13(1):28S-31S
10. Darmadi I, Wahlqvist ML, Horie Y, Horie K, Sugase K, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N. Food and nutrient intakes and overall survival of elderly Japanese. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000;9(1):7-11
11. Furler J, Blackberry I, Manski-Nankervis J, O’Neal D. Commencing Insulin therapy for people with Type 2 Diabetes in General Practice. Diabetes management journal, Feb 2014
12. O’Neal D, Blackberry I, Jenkins A, Furler J. Overcoming the Delay in Insulin Initiation in People with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes management journal, July 2013
13. Darmadi-Blackberry I, Wahlqvist ML. Magnesium in human health. Current Therapeutics 2002;43:35-8
14. Darmadi-Blackberry I, Wahlqvist ML. Selenium in human health. Current Therapeutics 2001;42:58-62
CHERISH: better, cheaper hospital care. Partners: QUT, Queensland Health. Funding: QLD Government Accelerate partnerships grant.
Well Ageing Vision and Engagement, Wangaratta (WAVE). Partner: Northeast Health Wangaratta. Funding body: Transforming Human Societies RFA 2016-17, Northeast Health Wangaratta, and Foundation of Rural and Regional Renewal.
Yackandandah District & Healthy And Resilient Together (YD-HART). Partner: Beechworth Health Services. Funding body: Foundation of Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) 2016-18.
Patterns of rural-urban migration among older adults in China. Partner: Yang Cheng, Beijing Normal University. Funding body: China Studies Research Centre, La Trobe University 2016-17.
Service Navigation and Networking for Dementia in rural communities (SENDER app). Partners: Swinburne University, Heathcote Health, Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, and Rural Northwest Health. Partner: Funding body: La Trobe University Building Health Communities Research Focus Area 2016-2017.
Webster Bendigo Dementia Care Project. Partner: Swinburne University, La Trobe Rural Health School. Funding body: Sandhurst Trustees.
Flying Doctor Telehealth Specialist Service. Partner: SMARRT partnership and Royal Flying Doctors Victoria. Funding: Victoria Specialist Telehealth Clinic Funding 2017-2018.
The use of online interpreter in dementia assessment. Partner: National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne Health, ECCV. Funding: Alzheimer’s Australia grant 2017-2018.
HelpDem: Skilled Volunteers for Dementia. Partner: SMARRT. Funding: Foundation for Rural, Regional and Remote CARA grant 2017.
Best practice care in small rural health services. Partner and funding: SMARRT partnership.
Transition into rural aged care services. Funding body: Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and La Trobe University
Enhanced care pathway for older people in rural area. Partners: the University of Melbourne, National Ageing Research Institute and Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands. Funding body: La Trobe University
Improving care for older people with dementia in rural area. Partners: ACEBAC and North West Rural Health. Funding body: La Trobe University
Chronic kidney disease prevalence and management in people with type 2 diabetes in Australian general practice Partner: University of Melbourne Department of General Practice and Monash University School of Pharmacy. Funding body: Shepherd Foundation
GP-OSMOTIC: A randomised trial of continuous glucose monitoring in primary care for poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. Partner: University of Melbourne Department of General Practice, Leicester Diabetes Centre UK and Diabetes Australia Victoria Funding body: National Health and Medical Research Council