Epworth HealthCare

Epworth/Deakin Centre for Clinical Nursing Research

The Epworth/Deakin Centre for Clinical Nursing Research is a joint initiative between Deakin University's School of Nursing and Midwifery and Epworth HealthCare. The Centre was established in 2004 to conduct collaborative clinical research and provide staff and students the opportunity to engage in clinically focussed, multidisciplinary research and training across acute, rehabilitation and community healthcare settings. It provides academic and professional leadership to staff and students and recognises the importance of combining expertise from both industry and academia to inform the quality and safety of healthcare delivery. A defining feature of the Centre is that it fosters a rich diversity of activities in health services research with the aim of enhancing the research culture at Epworth with benefits for staff, academics, students and patients.


The four key objectives of the Centre are to:

  1. Pursue a program of research that supports the core clinical activities of Epworth HealthCare and is situated within the Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) research cluster of the Faculty of Health, Deakin University. Our three overarching research priorities are:
    1. Patient engagement and participation in healthcare
    2. Patient experiences of care and recovery
    3. Clinical support for delivery of high quality, safe care.
  2. Support Quality and Patient Safety activities at Epworth HealthCare through research translation.
  3. Provide leadership and mentorship for the professional development of clinical and academic staff through research training and education.
  4. Establish a public profile of the Centre that promotes its activities and research outcomes and highlights the expertise of its researchers as leaders in their field.

Research Programs

The focus of the research program conducted through the Centre for Clinical Nursing Research focuses on the delivery of safe, high quality evidence based clinical care across acute and subacute hospital settings.

Case study methodologies using mixed method designs are used to develop comprehensive research strategies to examine quality and safety of clinical practice within complex clinical environments. Complementary qualitative and quantitative methods are used to address research questions that are not possible to investigate using traditional single method designs. The development of research strategies and data collection tools for these projects is ongoing.

The trajectory of recovery following Cardiac Robotic Surgery (PDF, 20.4 KB)

Trajectory of recovery following robotic prostate surgery (PDF, 24.9 KB)

Patients' communication of pain in acute care contexts (PDF, 11.9 KB)

An exploration of the multi-factorial influences on medication administration in the context of a medication management system (PDF, 22.5 KB)

Implementing best practices for minor wound management in the emergency department (PDF, 19.0 KB)

Factors influencing attendance and completion of a cardiac rehabilitation program (PDF, 25.9 KB)

Development and trial of an innovative approach to diabetes management (PDF, 9.9 KB)

An exploration of postoperative antecedents to pulmonary complications in adults undergoing cardiac surgery (PDF, 12.8 KB)

The psychosocial care of family of critically ill patients in emergency departments (PDF, 22.6 KB)


The Centre is led by Professor Mari Botti and supported by a number of nurse researchers who are very keen to support nurse clinicians and students of graduate and higher degree programs to pursue research questions within the context of a health focus.

At Epworth HealthCare nursing staff are encouraged and supported, by the management team and the staff of the Centre for Clinical Nursing Research, to be actively involved in the process of inquiry and research programs. Opportunities for multidisciplinary, clinically focused research across acute, rehabilitation and community settings are available for all staff.

Chair in Nursing

Alfred Deakin Professor Mari Botti

Associate Professor in Nursing

Dr Ana Hutchinson

Research Fellow

Dr Beverley Wood


The Centre for Clinical Nursing Research supports Honours, Masters and PhD research students. Below is a summary of current and past students' projects and achievements.

Doctor of PhilosophyThesis Title
Lenore Beddoes:Evaluating the quality of 24-hour acute care delivery: Describing functional outcomes of older people using a model of best practice.
Sue Hunter:Patient communication of pain in acute care contexts.
Cynthia Wensley: Translation of evidence into pain management practices in the postoperative cardiac surgery context.
Jo Mc Donall:Patient participation, patient satisfaction and patient experience.
Lin Cen:Patient participation in symptom management in the Oncology context:  a Chinese cohort study.
Elizabeth Oldland: Operationalising consumers as partners in the national clinical safety standards - integration into speciality education.
Nantinit Sutthiruk: Antimicrobial Stewardship in Thailand.
Master of NursingThesis Title
Margaret Hjorth:  Best practices for nursing care of inpatient radiotherapy patients.
Alanna Keating:    A nursing assessment tool to detect early DVT in postoperative surgical patients.
Sally Morrison:  Systematic review of role of the nurse/nurse manager in antimicrobial stewardship in the private sector.
Bachelor of Nursing(Honours)Thesis Title
Leigh McNichol:  Patient experiences of bedside technology for nursing care.
Eirene Blatsis:  Tool for falls risk assessment in rehabilitation.
Annika Zinkel:  Cardiologists preference for prescribing pre-procedural analgesia and sedation for interventional cardiology procedures.
Julia Trappett: Patient participation in postoperative pain management.
Michele McGrath: Application of clinical microsystems to improve older person care in acute hospital.
Rachel Waugh:  Validity and reliability of a multi-purpose tool for nurse bedside handover.
Stephanie Grinton: Assessment to avoid harms of hospitalisation for the older person in acute care: cognitive assessment.
Jessica Heenan:  A tool to audit the quality of nursing documentation.
Tracey Douglass:  Parental needs with a child with intellectual disability.
Linda Rhodes:  Factors that patients consider when attributing a number to their pain intensity after total knee joint replacement surgery.
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