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Barwon Health / Research

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Allied Health Research and Translation

Allied Health represents a diverse interprofessional group of clinicians who work across all settings at Barwon Health, within numerous programs, services and speciality clinics. Some of the allied health professions include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, dietetics, social work, podiatry, psychology, audiology, exercise physiology and spiritual care. Across-the-board involvement facilitates allied health to undertake and implement research to improve service delivery and patient-centred care. To achieve this we are developing the capability and capacity of allied health clinicians to undertake research and enhance our potential for transformative projects, aligning with the Barwon Health Research Strategic Plan.

The Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation lead has a conjoint appointment between Barwon Health and South West Healthcare. The role supports research capacity development within Allied Health, across the Barwon South West Region. The allied health research lead plays an important role in developing research capability, supporting project development and promoting research translation.

Many allied health clinicians are engaged in collaborative research teams and are integrated within research units such as B-CORE.

There are more than 60 allied health clinicians currently involved in research, in both primary lead and co-investigator roles. Some of the kinds of research projects allied health clinicians are currently involved in at Barwon Health include:

  • Health services research (to provide insight into how health services, programs and clinicians can deliver care in the safest, most effective, efficient and consumer-centred way)
  • Translation research (i.e. translating research into practice on a systems level and measuring translation outcomes)
  • Clinical research

An important feature of many Allied Health-led projects is that they involve interprofessional research teams. This has made for more seamless and direct translation of the knowledge generated, into evidence-informed changes in clinical practice.

We have chosen to showcase several projects which illustrate the diversity within, and breadth of allied health-led research and the potential impact allied health research can have on service delivery, consumer and population health outcomes.

Research Areas

Research News 

Collaborating Organisations

Australian Clinical Trials Education Centre (A-CTEC)

Alfred Health

Barwon South West Regional Integrated Cancer Service (BSWRICS)

Bionics Institute

Deakin University

Federation University

Grampians Health


Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)  La Trobe University 

Monash University

South West Healthcare 

Western Alliance

Western Health  Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Alliance  


Meet our Researchers

  • Dr Denise Jones, Allied Health Research & Knowledge Translation Lead 
  • Catherine Williams, Project Lead: Allied Health Clinical Trials Unit - Oncology
  • Craig Harvey, Researcher and Harm Reduction coordinator, Barwon Health Drugs and Alcohol Service
  • Dr Olivia King, Manager, Western Alliance Research Capability Building Program 
  • Isabella Natale, Researcher and Proactive Overdose Response Worker, Barwon Health Drugs and Alcohol Service
  • Renee Heard, Researcher and Speech Pathologist

Research Grants

  • Western Alliance - Translating research into practice: improving texture modification systems in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) in rural and regional Western Victoria: 2023
  • Western Alliance - Improving the provision of prescribed food, fluid and mealtime supervision requirements in inpatient and aged care settings: 2022
  • Western Alliance - Implementing a Risk Feeding Policy and Education Program for Multidisciplinary Clinicians Participating in Risk Feeding Practise at Barwon Health: 2021-2022
  • Western Alliance - Making the call: Improving timely access to community health physiotherapy services: 2021-2022
  • Cancer Council Victoria and Victorian Cancer Agency Management Scheme Competitive Grant - Allied Health Clinical Trials (Oncology): 2021
  • Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre Funding Support - Allied Health Clinical Trials (Oncology): 2021
  • Allied Health also receives funding as part of externally led multisite studies through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, HIPSTER study) and the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund (VMRAF), awarded to the Bionics Institute for the EarGenie® study.

Featured Publications

What does competently delivered neuropsychological assessment feedback look like? Development and validation of a competency evaluation tool. [Wong D, Pinto R, Price S, Watson L, McKay A. Clin Neuropsychol. 2023 Apr 20:1-19. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2023.2200205] 

It Can Save Your Life, that’s All I know. Barriers and Facilitators for Engagement in Take-Home Naloxone for People Receiving Opioid Substitution Treatment in Regional Australia: An Explorative Study” Natale I., Harvey C., Wood P. and Anderson K. Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare 2023. 7 (2).

Barriers and enablers to evaluating outcomes from public involvement in health service design: An interpretive description. Lloyd, N., Hyett, N., & Kenny, A. Qualitative Health Research, 2023 1-12.

‘Are we opening a can of worms?’: Community-based occupational therapists' experiences working with clients with unexpected mental health issues. King, O., Ingwersen, K., Bufton, B., Hitch, D., Dupre, B., Harding, M., Mayhew, C., & van de Ven, S. Health & Social Care in the Community, 2022, 00, 1–10.

Community Health Programs Delivered Through Information and Communications Technology in High-Income Countries: Scoping Review. Beks, H., King, O., Clapham, R., Alston, L., Glenister, K., McKinstry, C., Quilliam, C., Wellwood, I., Williams, C., & Wong Shee, A. Journal of medical Internet research, 2022, 24(3), e26515.

Impaired health-related quality of life, psychological distress, and productivity loss in younger people with persistent shoulder pain: a cross-sectional analysis. Ackerman IN, Fotis K, Pearson L, Schoch P, Broughton N, Brennan-Olsen SL, Bucknill A, Cross E, Bunting-Frame N, Page RS. Disabil Rehabil, 2022, 44(15):3785-3794.

The role of speech-language pathology weekend service in inpatient subacute care: A national survey. Davies, L., Lanyon, L., & O’Halloran, R. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 2022, 24(4), 437-445.
Do Social Media Impact Young Adult Mental Health and Well-Being? A Qualitative Study. Dodemaide P., Merolli M., Hill N., Joubert L. The British Journal of Social Work, 2022. 52(8), 4664-4683.

Examining a rural Victorian community's knowledge and help seeking behaviour for family violence and the role of the local public health service. Kelly, P., Field, M., Payne, R., & Giallo, R. Australian journal of rural health, 2022 30(5), 631-642.

*Longitudinal changes in physical activity levels and fear of falling after hip fracture. Tu Cy, Shields N, Gill SD, Tacey M, Lindner C, Hill KD. Physiother Res Int. 2021 Jan;26(1):E1884.

* Top cited article for work published between 1 January 2021 – 15 December 2022

Support Our Research

Participate in a Clinical Trial

To find out about Clinical Trials currently underway at Barwon Health, click here.


Clinical trials require ongoing investment and there are several ways to support this amazing work.

You can make a donation today and contribute to an item on our research wish list, consider a bequest in your will, or establish a lasting legacy fund in your name. No matter what size, your philanthropic support with deliver an immediate impact.

To donate now or for more information and further discuss your support, please contact the Barwon Health Foundation.


Last Modified: Monday, 11 September 2023

Research Lead

Denise Jones

Dr Denise Jones

Allied Health Research & Knowledge Translation Lead 

[email protected]