Improving clinical care to reduce health outcome inequalities

This multidisciplinary health services research program investigates the structure and processes of the health care system and interactions between clients (patients) and health services with the aim to reduce inequalities in health outcomes.

Our research focusses on how a broad range of factors influence interactions between patients/clients and health services.

These factors include:

  • clinical, demographic, cultural and socio-economic factors
  • rewards or incentives for health services and the people who work there
  • biases, assumptions and stereotypes.  We seek to identify these factors and issues to improve our understanding of how they can systematically influence health outcomes and ultimately lead to inequity for some groups.

Our work aims to inform evidence-based policy making, highlight comparative outcome research and ultimately improve the health of health service consumers.

Research Team

Team memberArea of research expertise
Professor Mark GussyOral Health
Dr George MnatzaganianEpidemiology and biostatistics
Dr Melanie BishRural nursing and health workforce
Dr Kathy ToriRural nursing and health workforce
A/Prof Michael KingsleyPhysical activity
Dr Mohd MasoodDentistry and oral health
Dr Carol McKinstryOccupational therapy and allied health workforce
Associate Professor Fiona GardnerSocial work
Dr Suzanne HodgkinAgeing and aged care
Dr Marcos De NoronhaPhysiotherapy and lower limb movement
Dr Byron PerrinPodiatry
Dr Brett GordonExercise physiology and chronic disease
Dr David Azul(Trans)gender and communication
Dr Steve BeggRural and regional health

Higher Degree by Research Students

Student NameDegreeSupervisorsProject title
Helen NightingalePhDAssociate Professor Michael Kingsley, Dr George Mnatzaganian and Dr Leesa HookerAn antenatal weight management intervention for rural women
Dr Marietta TaylorMaster by ResearchDr George Mnatzaganianand Dr Mohd MasoodSurvivorship of dentures

Research Partners

Our organisational research partners include:

Individual collaborators

Area of research expertise and affiliation

Professor Tom Marwick

Director, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Dr Timothy Chimunda

Intensivist, Bendigo Health

Ms Fiona Faulks

Deputy Director of Nursing Women's & Children's Services, Bendigo Health

Dr Jason Fletcher

Intensivist, Bendigo Health

Dr Cameron Knott

Intensivist, Bendigo Health

Dr Elizabeth Pennington

Paediatric Surgeon, Bendigo Health

Ms Julie Smith

Registered Nurse, Intensive Care Unit, Bendigo Health

Dr Marietta Taylor

Senior Dentist, Bendigo Health

Dr Nicola Yuen

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Bendigo Health

Dr Madeleine Ward

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar, Monash Health

Professor George Braitberg

Emergency Medicine Physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Dr Mark Putland

Emergency Medicine Physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital

Research streams

Health service delivery and patient outcomes

This research stream investigates the structure and processes of the health care system and the well-being of hospitalised individuals with the aim of reducing inequalities in health outcomes.

The series of projects focuses on clinical, and demographic and socio-economic factors associated with different health outcomes aiming to: inform evidence-based policy making, highlight comparative outcome research and ultimately improve the health of Victorians.

Current projects:

Assessment and management of chest pain in emergency departments

This retrospective cohort study; nested case-control study aims:

  • To assess gender and socio-economic differences in the assessment and management of approximately 80,000 chest pain presentations in three Victorian emergency departments (January 2009 – December 2013).
  • To investigate socio-economic gradients in admission to specialised care units among hospitalised individuals presenting with chest pain.

Our research partners for this project include Monash Health, Casey Hospital and Dandenong Hospital.

Inequalities in mortality following first myocardial infarction

This retrospective cohort study aims:

  • To assess gender and socio-economic differences in mortality following first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a five year period.
  • To investigate the mortality attributable risk attributed to hospital treating ward among patients diagnosed with first AMI

Our research partners for this project include Monash Health, Casey Hospital, Dandenong Hospital and Bendigo Health.

Obesity, morbid obesity and obstetric complications in regional Victoria

This retrospective cohort study aims:

  • To estimate the prevalence of overweight, obesity and morbid obesity in women giving birth in Bendigo Health during January 2010 - December 2016
  • To measure obstetric complications associated with obesity / morbid obesity
  • To compare direct hospital health costs for normal-weight, over-weight, obese, and morbid obese obstetric populations giving birth in Bendigo Health

Our research partner for this project is Bendigo Health.

Oral health

Current projects

Survival of government subsidised complete dentures in a large population of adult patients in Victoria

This prospective cohort study aims:

  • To quantify the survival of sets of complete dentures provided to approximately 122,000 individuals at a subsidised cost by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV).
  • To assess the effect of various interventions such as relines, repairs, adjustments and single denture replacements on the survival of complete dentures.
  • To investigate the association of type of clinician, gender, age, socioeconomic, rurality with the longevity of complete dentures.

Our research partners for this project include the Victorian Department of Health and Bendigo Health.