Research

Deakin's School of Nursing and Midwifery has a strong research culture and a proud history of applying research findings to clinical practice, education programs and healthcare policy. We achieved a rating of 4 in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2015 evaluations.

Research at the school is conducted through our Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research and in partnership with several major healthcare providers.

Study a research degree with us

Nursing ethics, the child-bearing experience, medication management, mental health nursing... Whatever your focus, we have an expert supervisor for you.

You'll never be short of industry expertise or potential research subjects. Our master's and PhD students have access to a significant number of hospitals and healthcare agencies thanks to our well-established partnership network.

Find out how to become a research degree student at Deakin

Find a supervisor

The Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS)

Our vision at QPS is to be a world-leader in applied health service research, with a focus on knowledge translation in relation to clinical care, quality and patient safety.

National and international collaborations

QPS enjoys productive collaborations with researchers around the world across medicine, psychology, health economics and biostatistics. 

Our research spans public and private healthcare sectors in urban, regional and rural areas. Researchers lead a range of interrelated programs, which are organised into three areas: 

Some of our research projects

Translations of evidence into pain management

Worldwide studies have shown up to 80% of patients experience significant pain after surgery. QPS researchers, led by Alfred Deakin Professor Mari Botti, have developed a Management Algorithm for Postoperative Pain (MAPP). MAPP is now being implemented into clinical practice.

Using technology to reduce unmet needs and distress in people with cancer

Smartphone interventions offer new possibilities for health promotion and treatment management. This NHMRC partnership project, led by Professor Trish Livingston, is a randomised controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a smartphone app (ACE) that allows people with cancer to easily access information and take control of their health.

The Tri-focal Model of Care: teaching and research in aged-care services

The Tri-focal Model of Care promotes partnership-centred care, evidence-based practice and positive and healthy work environments in Residential Aged Care (RAC). The model is now in operation at seven RACs in Victoria. 

This project is a collaboration between Deakin University, Monash Health Partnership and the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Prioritising Responses Of Nurses To deteriorating patient Observations (PRONTO)

Frequent and accurate measurement of vital signs is necessary to detect patient deterioration, but a significant gap exists between current policy and practice. 

This NHMRC partnership study, led by Professor Tracey Bucknall, is a cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating an intervention designed to improve nurses’ measurement, treatment and escalation of patients with abnormal vital signs, and ultimately reduce adverse events.

Research in partnership with Victorian health services

At the School of Nursing and Midwifery we've created the first fully-coordinated partnership of its kind in the world: the Clinical Partnership Network.

It connects us with seven major health services in Victoria to facilitate and apply multidisciplinary, multi-site research.

No other research cluster has the immediacy of access to a clinical point of care in health services that QPS researchers enjoy. The relationships demonstrate a deep commitment by industry to nursing and midwifery research.

This commitment translates to the co-funding of multiple ‘research only’ positions, and amounts to well over one million dollars in funding to Deakin through salary recovery. 

Our partners could not, and would not, provide this level of funding support if they did not receive considerable benefit in terms of workforce development, capacity building and improvement in the quality and safety of the care delivered to patients through research, research training and translation of evidence to practice.

Deakin and Alfred Health Nursing Centre for Research (DAHNCR)

Our collaboration with Alfred Health provides a unique opportunity for nurses to access research training and clinicians to experience multidisciplinary research projects. Research sits across critical care, acute care and specialty health care.

Current research projects

  • The identification and management of deteriorating patients 
  • Medication safety 
  • Pressure injury prevention 
  • Clinical communication 
  • Patient safety and quality of care 
  • Symptom management 
  • Integrated knowledge translation

Barwon Health Centre for Nursing and Allied Health Research

A key objective for research conducted in partnership with Barwon Health is to integrate research findings into education programs, policy and practice. 

Nurses and other health professionals at Barwon Health are encouraged to participate in research, further helping this knowledge translation.

Current research projects

  • Diabetes: 
    • general prevention and management issues 
    • self-care, including beliefs and attitudes and their effects on health, safety and wellbeing. 
  • Medication management 
  • Complementary therapies 
  • Health care delivery models

Eastern Health – Deakin University Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

Research at Eastern Health is strongly focused on quality and safety in health care, and comprises three major programs of research: 

  • clinical risk management
  • symptom management 
  • healthcare workforce and service delivery models.

Current research projects

Clinical risk management

  • Recognition and response to deteriorating patients 
  • Inter-professional communication 
  • Clinical decision making 
  • Increasing use of research evidence to improve clinical care 
  • Use of technology to increase quality and safety of patient care 
  • Symptom management
    • Improving physical and psychological wellbeing of patients with cancer and their carers 
    • Testing evidence-based approaches to pain management 
    • Evaluation of an educational resource for cardiac surgical patients

    Healthcare workforce and service delivery models

    • Investigation of models of care for older people
    • Evaluation of nurse practitioner and advanced practice nursing roles 
    • Evaluation of alternative approaches to healthcare delivery including hospital, community and home-based programs

Epworth Healthcare – Centre for Clinical Research Nursing

Our partnership with Epworth Healthcare has a mission to 'advance nursing practice and promote critical thinking and leadership skills in research students and clinicians'. 

All the multidisciplinary, collaborative research we conduct with Epworth Healthcare is to this end.

Current research projects 

  • The impact of models of nursing care delivery on health outcomes 
  • Medication quality and safety issues
  • The impact of emerging technologies on patients and carers

Centre for Nursing Research – Deakin University and Monash Health Partnership

The research we conduct in partnership with Monash Health is underpinned by four pillars:

  • knowledge translation 
  • person-centered care 
  • decision-making 
  • patient safety and risk management.

Current research projects

The program of research centres on four interconnected areas of nursing practice and development: 

Care of the older person

  • Nursing management of behaviours of concern in residential aged care facilities 
  • The Tri-focal Model of Care: Teaching and Research Aged Care Services (TRACS) implementation and evaluation 
  • Managing care of older patients in the emergency department 

Chronic disease

  • Exercise physiologists improving the physical function of people on dialysis 
  • Home dialysis therapies e-learning project 
  • Kalgoorlie Goldfields chronic kidney disease evaluation 

Symptom management 

  • Nursing knowledge and management of intradialytic hypotension 
  • Patient initiated MET calls 
  • Do not resuscitate (DNR) point prevalence 

Workforce development 

  • Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM) leadership development program evaluation 
  • Evaluation of the extended scope of practice Nurse Endoscopist project 
  • Structured interdisciplinary bedside rounding

Deakin University – Northern Health Clinical Partnership

Together with Northern Health, we conduct multidisciplinary research that focuses on optimising patient experiences and outcomes. The partnership offers strong research supervision for students at honours, master's and PhD levels, and mentors clinicians as part of research teams.

Deakin University – Western Health Partnership

The aim of our partnership with Western Health is to provide academic and professional leadership to clinical and academic staff at Western Health. We work closely together to develop – and deliver on – their research and clinical priorities.

Contact us

Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS)
+61 3 9244 6578
Email QPS

School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria 3125