Public Health

  1. » Project filled: Co-design for child friendly neighbourhoods and child health
  2. » Project filled: Doctors, drug addiction, and discipline
  3. » Weighing up the evidence: Quality of New Zealand clinical practice guidelines
  4. » Project filled: Survey and questionnaire of outcomes from a web based self-directed tinnitus treatment programme
  5. » How mindfulness meditation is being applied in mind-body exercises: A systematic review of the literature
  6. » A systematic review of Pacific people and respiratory diseases
  7. » A systematic review of Pacific people and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs)
  8. » Reformulation effects of Health Star Rating labels: determinants of changes in fibre content of reformulated foods
  9. » How rural is rural? Defining rural in the workforce development context
  10. » Project filled: The DAB Study: A questionnaire based assessment of dietary adherence and identification of barriers to healthy eating
  11. » What predicts an interest in General Practice career? Insights from a longitudinal tracking project
  12. » Improving access to primary care for mental health service users
  13. » Project filled: Are people still lonely in resthomes? A systematic review on older people's experiences of social isolation and loneliness in aged residential care facilities
  14. » Project filled: The state of palliative care in New Zealand? Synthesising the palliative care literature to inform palliative care policy
  15. » Who are the "experts"? A study of service users' knowledge and experience as evidence in palliative care
  16. » Patient safety and palliative care in hospital: An investigation of Patient Safety Reporting Systems (PSRS)
  17. » Palliative and End of Life Care research priorities from the perspectives of Chinese people living in New Zealand
  18. » A survey of bereaved relatives on their experiences of health care services at the end of life: Does VOICES reflect the voice of bereaved Chinese people living in New Zealand
  19. » How many hours per night is enough? A systematic review to identify optimal CPAP therapy use for sleep apnoea
  20. » Early life events and adult health: evidence from Swedish healthcare quality registers
  21. » What do employers want from health informaticians?
  22. » Using social media to elicit support for health issues
  23. » Leadership development in the undergraduate nursing programme
  24. » Models of hospice care for people with multimorbidity
  25. » Creating a population cartogram for visualising geographical inequalities in health and social outcomes
  26. » Growing the Puna - Developing a nutrition resource for teachers in Kohanga Reo
  27. » A review of the University/ADHB glaucoma collaborative care programme
  28. » Working it: What are the effects on employment of caring for someone at the end of life? A systematic review
  29. » From farm to fork: Taking a whole of food systems approach to obesity
  30. » A review of visual field referrals to the ADHB glaucoma clinic
  31. » Trajectories of children's psychosocial and cognitive development up to four years of age: evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand study
  32. » Mums and Dads of four year old children: evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand study
  33. » Biological ageing and child health in the preschool years: Evidence from Growing Up in New Zealand
  34. » Parental perceptions of child health and wellbeing in the preschool years: Evidence from Growing Up in New Zealand
  35. » Does parental occupation predict enrolment in a NZ health professional programme? Insights from a longitudinal tracking project
  36. » Development of aids for colour deficient medical practitioners
  37. » Preliminary development of cognitive training programme
  38. » Assessment of a hearing conservation questionnaire for school children
  39. » Community Street Reviews and Community Perceptions
  40. » Impact of Collaborative Learning and Development on High Performing General Practices
  41. » Implementation of System Level Measures: Literature Review on Performance Measurement for Health Outcomes
  42. » Qualitative analysis of why researchers do not publish their work
  43. » Identifying the evidence gaps in gynaecology and fertility systematic reviews
  44. » Real world practices of genetic mutation testing for non-small cell lung cancer
  45. » Self-regulation while gambling on poker machines: is it possible?
  46. » Facilitated self-help for reducing alcohol, gambling or unhealthy eating in the community
  47. » Health and service use of young New Zealanders with diabetes: a systematic review
  48. » Discrepancies in Primary outcome reporting from trial registration to publication
  49. » Changing ideas about obesity and their impact on regulatory interventions
  50. » Stock take of burden of disease in rural NZ

Project filled: Co-design for child friendly neighbourhoods and child health


Supervisor

Associate Professor Melody Smith

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS123

This project topic has been filled

A child-friendly city recognises children as active agents in planning processes, providing opportunities for children to have their voices heard, and aspirations and potential realised. Links between neighbourhood design (access to public open spaces, "walkability", traffic exposure, streetscape factors) and children's health behaviours (physical activity, active transport, independent mobility) have been identified. In addition, child-centred approaches have revealed unique insights on children's neighbourhood design preferences for promoting health behaviours. Building on this earlier research, the aim of this project is to conduct a literature review to explore the opportunities for, barriers to, and outcomes of, co-design (involving children and specialists such as architects and planners) of neighbourhood environments for children's health behaviours.

Skills

  • Literature searches
  • Academic writing skills
  • Critical evaluation of literature

 

Project filled: Doctors, drug addiction, and discipline


Supervisor

Katharine Wallis

Project type

Public Health

Department

General Practice and Primary Health Care

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS124

This project topic has been filled

Doctor health and well-being is important to the provision of good health care. However, medicine can be a stressful occupation and doctors have high rates of burnout, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction, and suicide. Doctors also have ready access to prescription medicines. Doctors who are caught inappropriately and/or illegally accessing prescription medicines often face disciplinary action. Doctors are expensive to train and are a valuable resource. However, addiction to prescription medicines may be a lifelong challenge for people working in healthcare, and repeat disciplinary action is not unknown.

The aim of this project is to review the New Zealand health practitioner disciplinary cases for addiction, summarise the cases and their outcomes; and to review the literature on doctors, addiction and discipline to understand how such cases are dealt with in other jurisdictions. 

Skills

  • Review of disciplinary tribunal decisions
  • Literature searches
  • Critical appraisal and summary of literature
  • Academic writing and referencing skills

Weighing up the evidence: Quality of New Zealand clinical practice guidelines


Supervisor

Julie Brown

Project type

Public Health

Department

Liggins Institute

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS125

We do not currently know the quality of the clinical practice guidelines in New Zealand. Specifically we want to know about the quality of guidelines for weight management, obesity, nutrition and physical activity for all age groups.

This project will focus on clinical practice guidelines developed in New Zealand or with New Zealand representation on the Guideline Development Panel. 

The project will involve identification of relevant guidelines, extraction of data regarding various aspects of the guideline development process, critical appraisal of the guidelines and an evaluation of the implementation resources available. 

Skills

  • Systematic searching of multiple databases
  • Accuracy
  • Critical appraisal
  • Data handling, analysis and report writing

 

Project filled: Survey and questionnaire of outcomes from a web based self-directed tinnitus treatment programme


Supervisor

Grant D Searchfield

Project type

Public Health

Department

Audiology
Population Health

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS126

This project topic has been filled

TinnitusTunes is an online subscription based portal for treatment resources spunout of the University of Auckland Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic.

Aims

  • Determine the benefits and shortcomings of an online treatment resource for tinnitus.
  • Determine merits of the resource as a standalone treatment compared to its use as an adjunct to traditional clinic based services.
  • Determine demographics (e.g. age) determinates of access and use.
  • Gain an understanding of those components of the online service most valued.
  • Contribute to the understanding of the role of e-audiology to global health.

Skills

  • Literature review and academic writing skills
  • Survey design, implementation and analysis
  • Audiology and tinnitus treatment principles and techniques
  • Understanding of web-based systems for e-health

 

How mindfulness meditation is being applied in mind-body exercises: A systematic review of the literature


Supervisor

Marcus Henning

Project type

Public Health

Department

Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS127

The general aim of the research group is to explore how mindfulness meditation is being applied in mind-body exercises: A systematic review of the literature. The specific aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review of the literature pertaining to this area of investigation with a focus on its application to higher education students.

Skills

This is a systematic review, as such several electronic databases such as Pubmed, Medline, Google Scholar, and Cochrane1 Reviews will be systematically searched using relevant expressions. To be eligible for the systematic review, the studies will have to meet a set of agreed criteria. Studies written in English will only be considered eligible for systematic review. Primary researchers (including the summer student) will independently review the extracted data on the objectives and designs of the studies, participants (country, selection methods, age), aspects of mindfulness and so forth. Any disagreements will be resolved by consensus involving further researchers. A summer student would be asked to search for relevant literature and screen the reference lists following previously established exclusion criteria and to ultimately co-write the first draft of the systematic review.

A systematic review of Pacific people and respiratory diseases


Supervisor

Associate Professor Vili Nosa

Project type

Public Health

Department

Pacific Health 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS128

Aim

The aim of this project is a systematic review about the health of Pacific people and respiratory diseases in the Pacific region and New Zealand. 

Objectives

•    To examine the Pacific health issues for respiratory diseases.
•    To identify the Pacific health issues for respiratory diseases in the Pacific region. 
•    To identify the Pacific health issues for respiratory diseases in New Zealand. 
•    To explore if there are any respiratory diseases for different ethnic groups amongst Pacific populations.     
•    To discuss any existing health strategies and programmes specifically design to cater for the needs for Pacific respiratory diseases.        

Skills

  • Developing a research proposal. 
  • Searching data bases and research articles.
  • Analysing relevant literature. 
  • Report writing.
  • Developing a peer reviewed article for publication

 

A systematic review of Pacific people and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs)


Supervisor

Dr Maryann Heather

Project type

Public Health

Department

Pacific Health

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS129

Aim

The aim of this project is a systematic review about the health of Pacific people and Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs).

Objectives

  • To examine the Pacific health issues for Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs).
  • To identify the Pacific health issues for Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs) in the Pacific region.
  • To identify the Pacific health issues for Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs) in New Zealand.
  • To explore if there are any Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs) for different ethnic groups amongst Pacific populations.     
  • To discuss any existing health strategies and programmes specifically design to cater for the needs for Pacific Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STIs).

Skills

Skills that will be taught to the student:

  • Developing a research proposal. 
  • Searching data bases and research articles.
  • Analysing relevant literature. 
  • Report writing.
  • Developing a peer reviewed article for publication.  

Reformulation effects of Health Star Rating labels: determinants of changes in fibre content of reformulated foods


Supervisor

Dr Helen Eyles

Project type

Public Health

Department

National Institute for Health Innovation

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS130

The Health Star Rating (HSR) nutrition labelling system is a voluntary initiative adopted by New Zealand to help consumers make healthier food choices and encourage food manufacturers to improve the nutritional profile of their products.  Manufacturers display a rating on products ranging from half a star to 5 stars (more is healthier) based on the content of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ nutrients. Since initial adoption of the HSR in 2014, over 2000 products display the label, many of which have increased fibre content to increase the HSR score.   However, little is known about the types of high fibre food additives added to such foods, and whether they are actually health promoting. 

Research Project Aims

  1. Create a list of common terms for high fibre food ingredients and additives using relevant literature, reports, and websites e.g. inulin, polydextrose, cellulose, wheat flour etc.  
  2. Using the Nutritrack food composition database of packaged foods, examine ingredient lists for approximately 200 foods with increased fibre contents since addition of the HSR label on the package.  List all high fibre food ingredients and additives used and summarise the frequency of use overall and by food group.
  3. Review the health effects of various ingredients and additives identified at step 2 using information from exiting literature, reports, and websites.  
  4. Write a short report describing the results of the study.

Skills

  1. Literature searching
  2. Development of nutrition knowledge and skills with respect to food labelling
  3. Data analysis and display

How rural is rural? Defining rural in the workforce development context


Supervisor

Phillippa Poole

Project type

Public Health

Department

Medicine

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS131

The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences selects and educates a health workforce for all of NZ, including the rural and regional areas. However, definitions of ‘rural’ vary. For over 10 years we have collected survey data on student background and career location intentions.   

This project builds on a previous summer studentship (1) and aims to:

  • Review the current definitions of ‘rural’ in NZ and in overseas literature;
  • Calculate how many students have a rural background, using various definitions, including self-defined;
  • Predict rural career intentions by programmes;
  • Seek to identify a practical, common definition of 'rural.'
  1. Poole P, Stoner T, Verstappen A, Bagg W. Medical students: where have they come from; where are they going? NZ Med J 2016;129: 1435

Skills

  • Literature review
  • Use of large datasets
  • Summary statistics
  • Liaison with clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, and academic staff in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and optometry

Project filled: The DAB Study: A questionnaire based assessment of dietary adherence and identification of barriers to healthy eating


Supervisor

Karen Bishop

Project type

Public Health

Department

Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS132

This project topic has been filled

  1. There have been numerous publications on the health benefits of following a Mediterranean style diet that is traditionally high in olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, oily fish, and low in animal products and processed foods. In a recent feasibility study we found that men with prostate cancer who followed our prescribed modified Mediterranean style diet showed a reduction in DNA damage, a marker of chronic inflammation. A questionnaire has been designed (and ethical approval obtained) to investigate the current level of adherence to a Mediterranean style diet in NZ men, to identify specific food groups that are being under or over-consumed, and to identify barriers to change. Depending on how many responses we receive by the time your summer studentship commences, you will be involved in administering the questionnaire, collating the data, as well as analysing and interpreting it.
  2. (If time allows): It is widely accepted that diet plays a key role in the development of many cancers, and lifestyle is a key component in the development of prostate cancer. We aim to assess whether a prostate cancer styled Mediterranean dietary intervention, to be delivered online, will decrease DNA damage and enhance quality of life and treatment outcomes in men with Prostate cancer. This part of the project involves the development of resources required for the clinical trial.

Skills

  • Critical review of the literature
  • You will learn to communicate scientific information to the layman
  • Analysis and interpretation of questionnaire data
  • Presentation of findings
  • Preparation of a manuscript for publication

What predicts an interest in General Practice career? Insights from a longitudinal tracking project


Supervisor

Antonia Verstappen

Project type

Public Health

Department

Medicine

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS133

The shortage of General Practitioners in New Zealand is well-documented, and has been the topic of much recent national debate. However, we have little knowledge about what factors might influence or predict an interest in a General Practice career. This project will use an existing large database of 12 years of survey data on student background and career intentions to start answering these questions.

This project aims to:

  • Review NZ and overseas literature;
  • Use an existing database to pilot statistical techniques to identify predictive factors for an interest in General Practice ;
  • Link existing large datasets.

Skills

  • Literature review
  • Use of large datasets
  • Database linking
  • Data analysis

Improving access to primary care for mental health service users


Supervisor

Anthony O’Brien

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS134

Compared to the general population, mental health service users experience high rates of morbidity, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. One factor that contributes to these high rates of illness and exacerbates their impact, is lack of access to primary health care. To address this issue, primary care providers have developed programmes to improve access through reduced charges, extended consultations or fully funded GP visits. This project will evaluate rates of access to primary care services and the health care received in primary care services that have implemented increased access programmes.

Project aims

  • Compare rates of access to primary care before and after implementation of a cost reduction initiative
  • Describe the range of assessments and interventions provided by primary care clinicians
  • Describe clinicians' and service users' perspectives of health care provided.

Skills

You will be taught how to:

  • Manage a research project
  • Conduct a literature search
  • Using referencing software
  • Conduct semi structured interviews
  • Analyse qualitative and quantitative data 
  • Write a research report
  • Write for publication

You will join the group of summer students at the School of Nursing, and have the opportunity to participate in the academic and social programme provided.

Project filled: Are people still lonely in resthomes? A systematic review on older people's experiences of social isolation and loneliness in aged residential care facilities


Supervisor

Professor Merryn Gott

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS135

This project topic has been filled

The full impact of loneliness and social isolation on older people is only beginning to be fully understood. Recent research, for example, has identified that loneliness has a similar effect on premature mortality amongst older people as smoking 10 cigarettes a day (Victor and Sullivan, 2015). We are leading a research project in partnership with Age Concern exploring this issue within the New Zealand context funded by the ‘Ageing Well’ National Science Challenge.  A key emergent finding relates to the experience of social and loneliness amongst older people living in aged residential care settings. The studentship would involve conducting a systematic review of the existing literature to identify what is currently known internationally about the experience, and determinants, of loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in aged care settings. This information will inform: 1) the interpretation and recommendations of the findings from the current project; 2) the action plan developed by Age Concern informed by the findings; and 3) a future HRC application to develop this work further. We welcome applications from students of any discipline with an interest in this area and strong writing skills. Previous students working with our group have published first authored papers in international leading journals and been successful with prestigious external postgraduate scholarship applications. For more information about us please see: www.tearairesearchgroup.org.

Skills

  • Systematic literature searching
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing for publication

Project filled: The state of palliative care in New Zealand? Synthesising the palliative care literature to inform palliative care policy


Supervisor

Professor Merryn Gott

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS136

This project topic has been filled

The Ministry of Health has recently published an Action Plan for Palliative Care, outlining priorities for palliative care development in NZ in the short to medium term. Within this context, it is timely to identify and synthesize all previous research conducted with relevance to palliative care within the NZ context. This information is critical to setting the agenda for the research required to support these service developments. We welcome applications from a student with strong writing skills and an interest in palliative care to conduct this work. The outputs from this project will include: an academic paper, a report to the Palliative Care Advisory Panel (who advise the MoH on palliative care), and subsequent grant applications. Previous students working with our group have published first authored papers in international leading journals and been successful with prestigious external postgraduate scholarship applications. For more information about us please see: www.tearairesearchgroup.org.

Skills

  • Systematic literature searching
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing for publication

Who are the "experts"? A study of service users' knowledge and experience as evidence in palliative care


Supervisor

Dr. Aileen Collier

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS137

The work of the Te Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group https://tearairesearchgroup.org/ is underpinned by a philosophy of working with communities towards improving access to high quality palliative care for all. One arm of our research is to investigate the extent to which the knowledge, expertise and experience of patients and families, service users and the wider community is recognized as evidence within the palliative care ‘movement’ including in: research; educational curriculae; health care policy; clinical guidelines; service provision and public health awareness.  Working alongside and Dr. Aileen Collier and Prof. Merryn Gott, you will be provided the opportunity to contribute to this body of knowledge in one of these key areas. This project will provide the opportunity to work with and publish together with researchers and clinical leaders in the field. 

Skills

  • An interest in public health
  • Communication skills
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Data analysis
  • Writing for publication  

 

Patient safety and palliative care in hospital: An investigation of Patient Safety Reporting Systems (PSRS)


Supervisor

Dr. Aileen Collier

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS138

Patient safety is defined as the ‘avoidance, prevention, and amelioration of adverse outcomes or injuries stemming from the processes of health care’ (Vincent, 2006). The patient safety movement has to date, tended to focus on those patients for whom a cure is expected. Furthermore, prevention of iatrogenic harm is largely focused on adoption of a ‘compliance’ approach targeting clinicians. Not only are people with a life-limiting illness at significant risk of adverse events, they too value staying safe when in hospital. Receiving help quickly and getting information when needed are important safety matters for patients and families (Collier 2016; Robinson 2016) as well as having ‘experts’ observe and monitor them (Robinson 2016) and act on those observations (Collier, 2016). Furthermore patient safety from patients and families’ perspectives extends beyond technical safety to include communication with health care staff (Collier, 2016). Your role will be to help extend this previous work by working alongside Dr. Aileen Collier and Ms. Jackie Robinson to examine to what extent NZ safety process and reporting systems adopt these safety matters. This project will provide the opportunity to work with and publish together with researchers and clinical leaders of the highly regarded Te: Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group. https://tearairesearchgroup.org/

Skills

  • An interest in public health
  • Communication skills
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Data analysis
  • Writing for publication  

 

Palliative and End of Life Care research priorities from the perspectives of Chinese people living in New Zealand


Supervisor

Ms Jackie Robinson

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS139

Background

Palliative care has historically been provided within a Western model of health care yet the Chinese population in Auckland is expected to increase significantly over the next decade presenting significant challenges in how palliative and end of life care is provided to this population. Understanding Chinese people’s experiences of palliative and end of life care will provide valuable information to inform the development of an innovative model of care within the ADHB that will better meet the needs of Chinese people living in New Zealand.

Aim

This project will involve interviewing leaders from within the Chinese community to identify research priorities and culturally appropriate methods to explore perceptions and experiences of health care delivery within the context of palliative and end of life care. Findings from this project will be used to inform a Heath Research Council grant application in partnership with the Auckland District Health Board’s Palliative Care Governance Group. It will also be used to develop a research program specifically looking at the palliative care needs of Chinese people living in New Zealand.

The student will be working alongside and publish together with international researchers and clinical leaders of the highly regarded Te: Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group. https://tearairesearchgroup.org/

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Review of data-bases
  • Data analysis
  • Writing for publication    

 

A survey of bereaved relatives on their experiences of health care services at the end of life: Does VOICES reflect the voice of bereaved Chinese people living in New Zealand


Supervisor

Ms Jackie Robinson

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS140

Background

The Chinese population in Auckland is expected to increase significantly over the next decade presenting significant challenges in how palliative and end of life care is provided for this population. Understanding Chinese people’s experiences of palliative and end of life care services will provide valuable information to inform the development of an innovative model of care within the ADHB that will better meet the needs of Chinese people living in New Zealand.

The ADHB in partnership with the University of Auckland is currently implementing VOICES, a postal survey exploring experiences of health care services in the last three months of life from the perspectives of bereaved families. Response rates from participants identifying as Chinese remains relatively low.

Aim

This project will use focus groups to explore Chinese people’s perceptions of the VOICES survey to collect data related to experiences of health care services at the end of life. Findings from this study will be used to develop the VOICES survey further to ensure that Chinese people’s views are adequately captured and used to inform the improvement of service delivery at the end of life. In addition, they will be used to inform a Heath Research Council grant application in partnership with the Auckland District Health Board’s Palliative Care Governance Group.

The student will be working alongside and publish together with international researchers and clinical leaders of the highly regarded Te: Arai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group. https://tearairesearchgroup.org/

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Review of data-bases
  • Data analysis
  • Writing for publication

How many hours per night is enough? A systematic review to identify optimal CPAP therapy use for sleep apnoea


Supervisor

Dr. Kim Ward

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS141

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a global health issue and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), delivered overnight via face-mask is the go to treatment worldwide.  However, concern exists that patients under-utilise this therapy, despite a lack of consensus about what is good therapy use.  An array of studies are available regarding the hours per night and nights per week required for CPAP use, but which differ in opinion about what is optimal. 

This systematic review aims to identify from the current literature what constitutes optimal CPAP use for OSA. 

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a student to develop skills in:

  • Literature search and review.
  • Basic research skills including data collection methods and data quality appraisal.
  • Data interpretation and presentation.
  • Professional scientific writing and the publication process.

The student will be based at the School of Nursing, University of Auckland.

Early life events and adult health: evidence from Swedish healthcare quality registers


Supervisor

Dr José Derraik

Project type

Public Health

Department

Liggins Institute

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS142

As part of a collaboration with colleagues at Uppsala University in Sweden, we have been working with healthcare registry data on a very large number of women (approximately 300,000). Our studies have examined associations between early life events and potential long-term effects in adulthood, particularly in regards to obesity risk. As a result, we have published a number of studies on these data that have attracted considerable interest amongst the general public and the national and international media:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27016177

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26564817

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26311896

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27100080

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27941067

However, there are a number of other life events that we are yet to examine, including for example exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy. As a result, we are hoping a summer student may be able to continue this work, for which we are seeking someone who is:

  • highly motivated;
  • capable of working independently; and
  • able to provide some evidence of proficiency in writing in English.

The ultimate aim would be for the student to end up with one peer-reviewed publication as first author. Depending on the student's ability, it may even be possible to end up with more than one study.

Skills

In this project, we hope that a committed student will improve their skills to:

  • properly research the literature on a particular topic;
  • critically review and accurately summarize the existing evidence;
  • precisely report our observations in an unbiased manner;
  • interpret our findings and compare/contrast them to the existing evidence;
  • evaluate our own study to identify its strengths and limitations; and
  • write up a manuscript for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Please note that we are unable to devote sufficient time to help a student improve their ability to write in English. Our aim is to help a student with good writing skills in English to develop his/her ability to think critically and write for a scientific audience, which are fundamental skills for those aiming to pursue a career in research.

What do employers want from health informaticians?


Supervisor

Karen Day

Project type

Public Health

Department

Health Systems

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS143

Literature describes the competencies of health informatics professionals, including clinical informatics, clinical coding, project management, software development, and change management. Information technologies are at the heart of the NZ Health Strategy of 2016 under the 'smart system' theme. Few job advertisements and job descriptions related to health informatics describe these competencies or how they enable a smart system. The aim of this research is to find out what employers want from the people they employ as health informaticians, what roles these employees occupy, and what competencies are core to the roles. 

Skills

  • Literature review
  • Survey analysis
  • Writing a paper for publication

Using social media to elicit support for health issues


Supervisor

Karen Day

Project type

Public Health

Department

Health Systems

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS144

People form groups on social media such as Facebook to address a wide variety of needs. These needs include support while experiencing health issues. One such (international) group is for quilting and sewing enthusiasts. Members of the group share their quilting and sewing projects with one another, inspiring and helping one another with their craft. Part of the conversation relates to health issues that affect their ability to sew, e.g. knee replacement surgery that affects their ability to go downstairs to their craft rooms or to use the pedal on their sewing machines. The aim of this research is to analyse how people use social media group activities to elicit support and advice about health issues affecting their ability to do everyday activities. With ethics approval and permission of a Facebook group, we will observe a group’s conversations for two months and collect conversations that relate to health issues. 

Skills

  • Literature review about the use of social media for support regarding a health issue
  • Qualitative analysis of the discussion thread, under the guidance of your supervisor
  • Writing skills to prepare an article for publication

Leadership development in the undergraduate nursing programme


Supervisor

Susan Waterworth

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing 

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS145

Internationally there is a recognition that leadership in nursing needs to develop at undergraduate level and that leadership is a practice (Raelin 2011) that is not confined to specific leadership roles. However, the challenge is how to develop leadership in undergraduate nursing education programs that has value and is meaningful for student learning and can be a base for continuous leadership development in their future nursing career. Recent research conducted in the School of Nursing of a leadership development program for BNurs (Hons) students  found that there can be a disconnect between the students understanding of leadership and how that fits with the reality of their practice. Developing a set of specific benchmarks for undergraduate nursing leadership curricula is required, alongside an approach to evaluating how these work in practice.

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a nursing student to develop skills in:

  • Systematic literature searching using specific tools
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing for publication
  • Presentation skills
  • Developing a research proposal

The student will be based at the School of Nursing working with the coordinators of the leadership in nursing pathways.

Models of hospice care for people with multimorbidity


Supervisor

Dr Kathy Peri

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

School of Nursing and South Auckland (Totara) Hospice

Project code: MHS146

Hospice services have been charged to provide services and models of care  differently in order to meet  the needs of an ageing population with multimorbidity (MOH 2017). This population have   complex  needs, particularly in relation to palliative and end of life care. This project will explore in a systematic literature review process how services and models of care have been developed and evaluated to address this need both internationally and locally.

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a student to develop skills in:

  • Systematic literature searching using specific tools
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing for publication
  • Presentation skills
  • Developing a research proposal in conjunction with South Auckland (Totara) Hospice

The student will be based at both the School of Nursing and South Auckland (Totara) Hospice

Creating a population cartogram for visualising geographical inequalities in health and social outcomes


Supervisor

Jinfeng Zhao

Project type

Public Health

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS147

Urban areas are often densely populated and the size of their land areas on administrative maps is often relatively small and thus difficult to see on a normal geographical map. This may mislead readers and prevent them from visualising regional or national patterns at the small area level.

Population cartograms, which depict the size of an area proportionate to its population value, provide a simple and powerful means to reveal patterns and disparities in population related data. Despite their effectiveness, cartograms are not very commonly used in the visualisation of population health data, because the shape of land masses is distorted. However they deserve wider exposure.

This project aims to develop a population weighted cartogram at the Data Zone level as a base geography to reveal spatial disparities in various health and social outcomes. Data Zones are a small-area geography with populations ranging from 500 to 1000 level that were developed specifically for health and social analyses.

A summer student will contribute to a literature review, geographical data analyses, creation of a NZ cartogram, visualising certain health and social outcomes (e.g. disease rates and their association with smoking rates and area level deprivation), and the development of a research paper. Previous GIS or cartographic experience is a bonus, but not a constraint. Hands on GIS tutorials can be provided to the selected candidate.

Skills

  • Literature review
  • Hands on experience of geographical data analysis, creating cartograms and mapping
  • Report writing and preparing manuscript for publication

Growing the Puna - Developing a nutrition resource for teachers in Kohanga Reo


Supervisor

Assoc Prof. Clare Wall

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nutrition and Dietetics

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS148

He Pi Ka Rere is a Toi Tangata evidence based Kaupapa Māori approach that draws on Mātauranga Māori to inform the role of traditional activity in the growth and development of a child. It is based on traditional techniques used by our tupuna combined with a need to supply our tamariki with the abilities, skills and awareness to lead a lifelong relationship with movement and nutrition. The programme has been designed for delivery in Kaupapa Māori Early Learning Environments.

The activities in the programme share direct links to Atua Māori and the realms or domains in which they reside. These activities are modified to cater to the tamariki ages and aims to utilise the natural environment. The project for a successful student provides an opportunity to work with Toi Tangata staffand kohanga reo communities to support creating a tool or resource for kaiako. Specifically to enable kaiako in Kohanga Reo to engage in korero about Kai Māori Kai Ora messaging with tamariki. Project will include interviews of kaimahi, gathering best practice and working along Toi Tangata staff to develop a teaching tool or resource.

Skills

1. Learn about Māori public health nutrition and physical activity within a National Māori health organisation.

2. Lead interviews with Kaiako in Kohanga Reo

3. Engage in the learning of He Pi Ka Rere

4. Learn about Toi Tangata approach and messaging Kai Māori Kai Ora

5. Build networks with other students from different tertiary providers studying in Nutrition and Physical Activity

A review of the University/ADHB glaucoma collaborative care programme


Supervisor

Hussain Patel

Project type

Public Health

Department

Ophthalmology, Optometry and Vision Science

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS149

This project will involve conducting an audit of the patients seen within the UoA/ ADHB glaucoma collaborative care programme.

Skills

  • Data analysis
  • Critical analysis
  • Literature searching
  • Critical appraisal
  • Data extraction and statistical interpretation
  • Report writing

Working it: What are the effects on employment of caring for someone at the end of life? A systematic review


Supervisor

Lisa Williams

Project type

Public Health

Department

Nursing

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS150

Providing care and support for a family/whanau member or friend with a life limiting illness impacts many areas of life, including paid work. This summer studentship involves completing a systematic review that explores the effect of caring responsibilities upon employment. The review will provide evidence critical for developing programmes and policies useful for supporting families and whanau at this critical time and inform future research grant applications. The gendered implications of providing care and engaging in paid work will be considered. We welcome applications from students of any discipline with an interest in this area and strong writing skills. Previous students working with our group have published first authored papers in international leading journals and been successful with prestigious external postgraduate scholarship applications. For more information about us please see: www.tearairesearchgroup.org.

Skills

  • Database research skills
  • How to complete a systematic review
  • Data analysis
  • Writing for academic publication

 

From farm to fork: Taking a whole of food systems approach to obesity


Supervisor

Dr Wilma Waterlander

Project type

Public Health

Department

National Institute for Health Innovation

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS151

Rationale

There is now growing recognition that a whole-of-food-systems approach is needed to achieve sustainable population health nutrition strategies. Interestingly, while food is fundamental for human survival, good understanding of our food system is limited internationally. In NZ, food production is the major contributor to the economy and there is a highly developed agricultural system; however, there is no policy at central government that outlines a long-term food strategy. This is worrisome, not only for public health, but also in terms of food security.

Project aims

- Conduct a systematic literature review to examine possible whole-of-food systems methodologies for public health and obesity research 

- Transcribe and analyse qualitative interviews with food system actors. Interviews have been conducted with stakeholders in the NZ potato sector (growers, processors, retailers). These interviews focused on examining what determines the availability and price of healthy and unhealthy food by building an overview of the food system including its different actors, activities and relations between them. The project specifically focuses on potatoes because they are considered a staple food and an important source of dietary energy and carbohydrate, however, potatoes are often processed into unhealthier foods such as salty crisps and French fries which has important implications for public health. 

Skills

- Looking at a public health problem through a systems lens

- Conducting a systematic literature review

- Transcribing qualitative interviews

- Analyzing qualitative interviews

A review of visual field referrals to the ADHB glaucoma clinic


Supervisor

Robert Ng

Project type

Public Health

Department

Optometry

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS152

The aim of the study is to review and compare visual fields from referrals to the ADHB glaucoma clinic to the visual fields performed at the hospital. 

Skills

  • Data analysis
  • Critical analysis
  • Literature searching
  • Critical appraisal
  • Data extraction and statistical interpretation
  • Report writing

Trajectories of children's psychosocial and cognitive development up to four years of age: evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand study


Supervisor

Lisa Underwood

Project type

Public Health

Department

Growing Up in New Zealand

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS153

2008 saw the launch of a landmark longitudinal study Growing up in New Zealand. This exciting and ground-breaking project has followed approximately 7,000 children during their mothers’ late pregnancy and, so far, up to four years of age.

Growing up in New Zealand aims to understand the needs, life trajectories, developmental experience and aspirations of our participants and their families in New Zealand today. This study will provide relevant and robust evidence to improve policy development for all our families as well as improve our understanding of outcomes and equity.

The aim of this summer project is to explore influences of child psychosocial and cognitive development. This will be achieved through quantitative analysis of questionnaire data collected during mother’s pregnancy up to when the children were four years old. There will be opportunities to engage with other areas of the study, in particular, the Psychosocial & Cogntive Development, Health & Wellbeing and education domains.

Applications from students with an interest in Māori, Pacific and Asian themes are especially welcome.

Skills

  • This project will provide an opportunity for a student interested in population health or child development to learn independent research skills, including literature review, data analysis, presentation of results, and communication of research findings.
  • The student will be supervised within the research team and there will be opportunities to engage with our wider team of experts.
  • Specific skills taught will be: working as part of a large multidisciplinary team, quantitative research methods, data processing and statistical analysis and writing skills for publication.
  • The project would most suit a third year student, especially someone interested in continuing with an honours project. Second year students will also be considered. Skills required are enthusiasm and initiative, an ability to communicate, and independence, combined with a genuine interest in research and a demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Mums and Dads of four year old children: evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand study


Supervisor

Lisa Underwood

Project type

Public Health

Department

Growing Up in New Zealand

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS154

2008 saw the launch of a landmark longitudinal study Growing up in New Zealand. This exciting and ground-breaking project has followed approximately 7,000 children (and their families) during their mothers’ late pregnancy and, so far, up to four years of age.

Growing up in New Zealand aims to understand the needs, life trajectories, developmental experience and aspirations of our participants and their families in New Zealand today. This study will provide relevant and robust evidence to improve policy development for all our families as well as improve our understanding of outcomes and equity.

The aim of this summer project is to explore the lives and relationships of the Growing up in New Zealand mothers and fathers as they parent their child. This will be achieved through quantitative analysis of questionnaire data collected from both parents during mother’s pregnancy up to when the children were four years old. There will be opportunities to engage with other areas of the study, in particular, the Psychosocial & Cogntive Development and Health & Wellbeing domains.

Applications from students with an interest in Māori, Pacific and Asian themes are especially welcome.

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a student interested in population health or child development to learn independent research skills, including literature review, data analysis, presentation of results, and communication of research findings.

The student will be supervised within the research team and there will be opportunities to engage with our wider team of experts.

Specific skills taught will be: working as part of a large multidisciplinary team, quantitative research methods, data processing and statistical analysis and writing skills for publication.

The project would most suit a third year student, especially someone interested in continuing with an honours project. Second year students will also be considered. Skills required are enthusiasm and initiative, an ability to communicate, and independence, combined with a genuine interest in research and a demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Biological ageing and child health in the preschool years: Evidence from Growing Up in New Zealand


Supervisor

Caroline Walker

Project type

Public Health

Department

Growing Up in New Zealand, Centre for Longitudinal Research

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS155

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study that provides a contemporary, population-relevant picture of what it is like to be a child growing up in New Zealand in the 21st century. Participants (n=6853) were recruited before birth through their pregnant mothers, with 6156 children participating in the 4 year interview.

The aim of this project is to explore the association of biological ageing with child health at four years of age. This will be achieved through quantitative analysis of data collected when the children were four years old as well as data on telomere length as a proxy for biological ageing. 

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a student interested in child health or biological aging to learn independent research skills, including:

  • Literature review
  • Data analysis
  • Presentation of results and communication of research findings

The project would most suit a third year student, especially someone interested in continuing with an honours project. Second year students will also be considered. Skills required are enthusiasm and initiative, an ability to communicate, and independence, combined with a genuine interest in research and a demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Parental perceptions of child health and wellbeing in the preschool years: Evidence from Growing Up in New Zealand


Supervisor

Caroline Walker

Project type

Public Health

Department

Growing Up in New Zealand, Centre for Longitudinal Research

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS156

Growing Up in New Zealand is a longitudinal study that provides a contemporary, population-relevant picture of what it is like to be a child growing up in New Zealand in the 21st century. Participants (n=6853) were recruited before birth through their pregnant mothers, with 6156 children participating in the 4 year interview.

The aim of this project is to explore the association between parental perception of health and obesity with rates of childhood illnesses and obesity. This will be achieved through quantitative analysis of questionnaire and anthropometric data collected when the children were four years old. 

Skills

This project will provide an opportunity for a student interested in population health or child health to learn independent research skills, including:

  • Literature review
  • Data analysis
  • Presentation of results and communication of research findings

The project would most suit a third year student, especially someone interested in continuing with an honours project. Second year students will also be considered. Skills required are enthusiasm and initiative, an ability to communicate, and independence, combined with a genuine interest in research and a demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Does parental occupation predict enrolment in a NZ health professional programme? Insights from a longitudinal tracking project


Supervisor

Assoc Prof Mark Barrow

Project type

Public Health

Department

Medicine

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS157

There is some anecdotal evidence that having a parent who is a health professional might predict a child’s enrolment in a health professional programme, and some studies that show relationships between the study route a child chooses and the profession of one or other of their parents.  This project will use an existing large database of 12 years of survey data gathered from students in the university’s health professional programmes to look for any relationships between parent’s occupations and student’s study choices.

Project aims

  • Review NZ and overseas literature;
  • Link existing large datasets.

Skills

  • Literature review
  • Use of large datasets
  • Database linking
  • Data analysis

Development of aids for colour deficient medical practitioners


Supervisor

Dr Misha Voronyev

Project type

Public Health

Department

Optometry and Vision Science

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS158

Approximately 8% of males have congenital red-green colour deficiency.  These inherited colour vision defects vary in type and severity depending on how the altered genetic codes are expressed. Colour deficiency impairs the ability of medical practitioners to use colour for diagnostic purposes.

The aim of this project is to improve the ability of colour deficient subjects to use colour images for diagnostic purposes by transforming colour in these images.  The colour transformations will be based on the mathematical models of colour vision derived for each individual observer.

Skills

  1. Colour vision tests.
  2. Programing. 

 

Preliminary development of cognitive training programme


Supervisor

David Welch

Project type

Public Health

Department

Audiology

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS159

Cognitive skills training may have important benefits for individuals and societies. We have experience with health promotion training and are considering developing a project to increase strategic thinking and mindfulness in children and/or adults. The project would involve reviewing literature and conducting interviews with people who would potentially be trained to explore the possible approaches and to get ideas about the more acceptable ways to deliver training.

Skills

  • Interviewing
  • Qualitative analyses
  • Literature reviewing
  • Writing

Assessment of a hearing conservation questionnaire for school children


Supervisor

David Welch

Project type

Public Health

Department

Audiology

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS160

The aim of the project is to test the internal reliability of a survey instrument (questionnaire) aimed at assessing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behavioural measures of school children around noise and noise-induced hearing loss.

Skills

  • Developing a research proposal
  • Data collection methods
  • Data entry
  • Basic scale assessment statistics
  • Report writing

Community Street Reviews and Community Perceptions


Supervisor

Professor Shanthi Ameratunga

Project type

Public Health

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS161

To undertake a review of existing tools that can assess the characteristics of the built-environment in relation to health and wellbeing by older people and people living with disability. This research will inform the adaptation or development of built environment measures and Community Street Reviews to enable these to be relevant and meaningful to local communities and cultures. It is anticipated that the approach, informed by community perspectives, will identify deficiencies on local footpaths and road crossings, and access to transport systems. The project will draw on human rights principles embedded in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the New Zealand Disability Strategy, and Ageing Well strategy. This project will involve collaborating with Bridget Burdett (transport engineer) and a multi-disciplinary team involved with the Inclusive Streetscapes project at the School of Population Health.

Skills

  • Systematic review of the literature
  • Managing reference software
  • Working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Writing the results in a scientific paper

Impact of Collaborative Learning and Development on High Performing General Practices


Supervisor

Dr. Annette Dunham

Project type

Public Health

Department

Population Health

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS162

The aim of this qualitative study was to understand the impact of the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) program on improving how quality and safety is organised in general practice. The study involved 22 high performing Australian general practices. This project focuses on staff role changes following participation in the APCC.

Skills

  • Review literature
  • Data Analysis using NVivo
  • Written presentation of results

 

Implementation of System Level Measures: Literature Review on Performance Measurement for Health Outcomes


Supervisor

Tim Tenbensel

Project type

Public Health

Department

Population Health

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS163

  1. To provide an extended literature review relevant to the implementation of the Ministry of Health’s System Level Measures Framework, covering
    • Performance management
    • Health quality improvement
    • Inter-organisational collaboration in the health sector
  2. To assist with qualitative coding of documents relating to System Level Measures implementation, including
    • SLM Improvement Plans 2016 and 2017 for all DHB districts
    • Other data as required

Skills

  • Expanded literature searching
  • Qualitative coding
  • Use of nVivo 11

 

Qualitative analysis of why researchers do not publish their work


Supervisor

Dr Vanessa Jordan

Project type

Public Health

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Location

Grafton

Project code: MHS164

To determine the reasons behind non publication of fertility research

A previous summer student looked at conference abstracts of RCT's published between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2010 and determined that of the 224 abstracts presented at a conference only 110 had ever been published in full. We would like to establish why the remaining 114 conference abstracts have never been published.

As part of this project you will develop a questionnaire that will address this issue and will correspond with all the original authors of the conference abstracts. Depending on the level of interest by these original authors we may go on to conduct Skype calls in order to interview these researchers in person.

The results of the questionnaire will be analysed qualitatively which will involve establishing themes that correspond to the responses.

Publication bias is currently a very hot topic in research and a paper elucidating the reasons for non publication will be of great interest. We anticipate a publication from this work.

Skills

This work will follow on from a previous summer studentship where a cohort has been already established of unpublished research.

Student will need to

a) Create a questionnaire

b) ensure a reasonable response rate

c) potentially conduct Skype interviews

d) qualitatively analyse the interviews 

e) produce a publication

Identifying the evidence gaps in gynaecology and fertility systematic reviews


Supervisor

Marian Showell

Project type

Public Health

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Location

Grafton

Project code: MHS165

Firstly we aim to identify whether current sytematic reviews in the area of gynecology and fertility are covering the major topics that are being explored by random controlled trials (RCTs). This will act as a prioritisation project in identifying the gaps in the evidence. To do this we will firstly identify all the (RCTs) in the area of gynaecology and fertility, these are housed in the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Groups specialised register, then we would identify all the systematic reviews in this scope. Interventions and conditions of the RCTs and reviews would then be classified into topics. We would then analyse what topics in the RCTs are or are not covered in in the reviews, thereby identify the gaps, some decisions would be made as to whether these gaps are clinically important. In this way we would develop new topics for new reviews and thus provide evidence for treatments not yet covered by Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility reviews. We would also be able to analyse at the discrepencies between topics covered in non Cochrane reviews and Cochrane reviews.

Skills

The skills taught would be

  • searching skills for medical databases, across multiple platforms including the Cochrane library
  • reference management using ENDNOTE
  • Data management and spreadsheets
  • Data analysis
  • correct identification of random controlled trials
  • working in a team
  • writing, presentation and publication of results
  • understanding of the evidence availabilty or gaps in gynaecology and fertility
  • understanding the value of high quality systematic reviews

 

Real world practices of genetic mutation testing for non-small cell lung cancer


Supervisor

Dr Sandar Tin Tin

Project type

Public Health

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Location

Tāmaki

Project code: MHS166

Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is most common and accounts for about 80-90% of cases. Previous research has identified a number of oncogenic drivers associated with survival and progression of NSCLC, and has developed genotype-directed targeted therapies. Based on the accumulating evidence, standard international oncology practice guidelines now recommend undertaking genetic mutation testing to inform treatment decisions. 

The aim of this project is to review the existing literature that has reported patterns and trends of genetic mutation testing for NSCLC in real world clinical settings. 

Skills

  • Systematic literature searches
  • Critical appraisal
  • Academic writing skills
  • Preparation of a manuscript for publication

Self-regulation while gambling on poker machines: is it possible?


Supervisor

Simone Rodda

Project type

Public Health

Department

Social and Community Health

Location

Tāmaki

Project code: MHS167

Self-regulation in gambling venues is promoted through government and industry websites as a way people can stick to their limits while gambling. However, we do not know if self-regulation works (e.g., set a time limit and stick to it) or indeed how it works in a gambling venue. If we understand what works then we may be able to prevent problems from developing in the first place. This is a two year project that could also make a great topic for further post-graduate study.

Project aims

  • Examine the impact of planning on the effectiveness of in-venue self-regulation
  • Understand how gamblers select, implement and maintain self-regulation strategies

Skills

  • Conduct literature searches
  • Use referencing software
  • Conduct semi-structured telephone interviews
  • Learn to use NVivo qualitative software

Facilitated self-help for reducing alcohol, gambling or unhealthy eating in the community


Supervisor

Simone Rodda

Project type

Public Health

Department

Social and Community Health

Location

Tāmaki

Project code: MHS168

Some people fail at self-regulation and when this happens multiple strategies are potentially effective (e.g., limiting access, social support or distraction). Targeting people with sub-clinical problems, these strategies are widely disseminated through health promotion programs but more guidance is needed in how, what or when to use strategies (action planning) or what to do when encountering barriers and obstacles (coping planning).

Project aims

Develop and pilot one of three self-help workbooks for reducing gambling, alcohol or unhealthy eating.

Skills

You will gain experience in recruitment of pilot participants and also conducting semi-structured interviews. You will also learn to use referencing software and assist in conducting literature searches.

Health and service use of young New Zealanders with diabetes: a systematic review


Supervisor

Jacqueline Ramke

Project type

Public Health

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Location

Tāmaki

Project code: MHS169

In 2015 there were approximately 10,000 New Zealanders under 30 years of age diagnosed with diabetes, most of whom had Type 1 diabetes (T1DM). This number is set to increase, with the incidence of both T1DM and Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) increasing in young people. Most young New Zealanders with T1DM are European, while the majority developing T2DM are Māori and Pacific.

The aim of this review is to summarise findings from studies reporting health outcomes (e.g. prevalence, incidence, microvascular complications) and health service use outcomes (e.g. attendance at services, barriers to care) of New Zealanders diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 30 years. We have a particular interest in differential outcomes for young Māori and Pacific people.

This project will support the development of a formal study investigating approaches to overcoming barriers to health care among young people with diabetes, involving a wider team of researchers at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

Skills

  • Searching medical literature databases
  • Searching government publications
  • Reference management
  • Learning to identify outcomes within a publication
  • Data extraction and management
  • Narrative synthesis
  • Contributing to the development of a scientific paper

Discrepancies in Primary outcome reporting from trial registration to publication


Supervisor

Prof Cindy Farquhar

Project type

Public Health

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology 

Location

Grafton

Project code: MHS170

The aim of this project is to determine if the primary outcomes in registered trials are reported as the primary outcomes when the trial comes to publication.

Previous research has shown that trialist's may alter the primary outcome of a published paper to an out come which has shown significance at the completion of the project. We would like to see if this is still the case today with increased registration of trials and use of the CONSORT statement in preparing trials for publication.

Skills

  • Searching medical literature databases
  • Learning to identify outcomes within a publication 
  • Using excel to create a spreadsheet for results analysis
  • Doing analysis 
  • Writing the results in a scientific paper

Changing ideas about obesity and their impact on regulatory interventions


Supervisor

Tatjana Buklijas

Project type

Public Health

Department

Office of Prime Minister's Science Advisor and Liggins Institute

Location

Auckland

Project code: MHS171

There is a widespread recognition of the rising prevalence of obesity and its impact on the health of NZ population but the level of political attention has been uneven and regulatory intervention likely insufficient. This project examines the ways in which the public framing of obesity (from 'obesogenic environment' to 'personal choice' and 'nanny state') has influenced the positioning of the problem of obesity in political agenda and consequent regulatory actions. It is taking a combined historical and policy studies approach to examine framing of obesity in parliamentary debates and media in New Zealand since 1990. It offers an opportunity to understand how science policy is made.

Skills

  • Communication skills
  • Literature review
  • Source analysis (primarily parliamentary debate records)
  • Interviews
  • Presentation
  • Writing skills

Stock take of burden of disease in rural NZ


Supervisor

Dr Kyle Eggleton

Project type

Public Health

Department

General Practice and Primary Health Care

Location

Auckland or Northland

Project code: MHS172

Access to health care in rural New Zealand is often constrained due to geographical, cultural and financial barriers. These barriers may impact on the health of rural patients and may result in inequalities, compared to urban patients. As part of a broad research strategy the Rural Chapter of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners wishes to determine how health status differs between rural and urban localities. Within this project you will undertake a literature review to determine what differences there are in disease burden between rural New Zealand and urban New Zealand. You will work with rural general practice leaders to understand and contextualise the problems that they face in their rural populations. The outcomes of the project should be a publication in a peer reviewed journal and a presentation at a rural general practice conference.

Skills

  • Literature review skills
  • Critical analysis
  • Academic writing
  • Presentation skills