The AIMSS Public Health Program strives to maintain and improve population health by leading multidisciplinary and collaborative research that is priority-driven and has a significant impact on national and international Public Health practice.
The AIMSS Public Health Program includes research that:
- Prevents disease, prolongs life and promotes health and wellbeing
- Has local, national and international impact
- Is significant and priority-driven
- Is multidisciplinary and collaborative in nature
- Supports emerging researchers to succeed and become leaders in their research fields
Linked PhD Projects:
Maximising Recovery of Health-Related Quality of Life Following Major Osteoporotic Fracture: A Focus on Health Care Pathways
Fragility fractures are the most severe clinical outcome of osteoporosis and lead to limitations in physical functioning, increased risk of mortality, and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Post-fracture health care pathways were developed to improve the care of older patients following a fracture by guiding healthcare professionals with evidence-based treatment recommendations in accordance with clinical guidelines. Previous studies report consistent benefits of post-fracture care pathways for older people including elevated treatment rates, decreases in subsequent fractures, and decreased rates in long-term mortality. However, the benefits on patient-reported outcomes such as HRQoL is not well established, particularly for non-hip fracture sites. The overarching aim of this thesis is to enhance the evidence-base of post-fracture care pathways for the optimal recovery of HRQoL.
This thesis includes five interrelated research components: 1) a meta-analysis to investigate the effect of existing post-fracture care pathways on HRQoL and physical function compared to usual care; 2) a before and after study to evaluate the effect of an electronic care pathway on patient outcomes compared to a traditional paper-based care pathway; 3) a series of analyses using data from a multinational observational study – the International Costs and Utilities Related to Osteoporotic Fractures Study (ICUROS) – to identify distinct, multidisciplinary care pathways associated with recovery of HRQoL post-fracture; 4) a micro-costing study to estimate the cost per patient of each postfracture care pathway identified; and 5) a data linkage study to investigate the association ii between HRQoL recovery 12-months post-fracture and 5-year mortality using data from the Australian arm of ICUROS (the AusICUROS study). Existing post-fracture care pathways result in short and long-term improvements for both HRQoL and physical function in hip fracture patients, however there is an insufficient number of non-hip fracture studies to establish the same conclusions.
Understanding the role of vitamin D in falls and fractures prevention: the development and validation of a self-reported prediction tool
This thesis explores the association between serum 25(OH)D levels, physical function parameters and incident falls in women aged ≥70yrs using existing data. A systematic review of vitamin D prediction models and questionnaires was conducted, which then informed subsequent analyses using existing cross-sectional data from four Australian-based cohorts (pooled) to identify self-reported risk factors for vitamin D deficiency and to develop and validate a vitamin D deficiency prediction model for Australians ≥50yrs using self-reported risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.