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Dr Kirsti Haracz

Lecturer

School of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy)

Career Summary

Biography

Kirsti Haracz is a lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Newcastle. Before entering academia Kirsti worked as an occupational therapist in both Australia and the United Kingdom for 13 years. Since coming to the University of Newcastle in 2006 Kirsti has been involved in designing and delivering courses about group processes, mental health, and leisure and lifestyle in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) Program. Kirsti has also been involved in the delivery of a cross-disciplinary research methods course. Kirsti is currently co-supervising two PhD students and three honours students and has supervised 14 honours students in previous years. She is a member of the Critically Appraised Papers Advisory Board for the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal and a reviewer for a number of journals.

Kirsti’s area of specialty both in her clinical career and in her research and teaching, is the field of mental health. In particular Kirsti is interested in the nexus between physical and mental health and the role of lifestyle in promoting and maintaining health. Kirsti’s PhD research explored the experience of women with schizophrenia spectrum disorders of managing their weight.  Kirsti has also been involved in other studies exploring related issues such as the role of occupational therapists in addressing issues of diet in people with mental illness, and the role of occupational therapy in addressing obesity.

Kirsti is also passionate about helping to effectively prepare future occupational therapists for mental health practice. She collaborated with academics from the school of performing arts to design a model for providing simulation in a mental health occupational therapy course. She is also a member of a group of mental health occupational therapy academics from across Australia and New Zealand researching curriculum design to prepare occupational therapists for mental health practice

Research Expertise
My major areas of research interest include: physical health of people with mental health disorders, occupational therapy in mental health, occupational therapy and obesity, and occupational therapy education.

Teaching Expertise
I have responsibility for curriculum development, teaching and course co-ordination of courses relating to mental health and psychosocial well being, group processes and groups as therapy and lifestyle and leisure in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Hons) Program. I have also been involved in the delivery of a cross disciplinary research methods course.






Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Science (Occupational Therapy), Coventry University - England
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), University of Sydney

Keywords

  • Grounded Theory
  • Groupwork
  • Lifestyle
  • Mental Health
  • Obesity
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Education
  • Qualitative Research

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy) 40
111714 Mental Health 40
130103 Higher Education 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Haracz K, Roberts E, 'Workplace resilience interventions show some evidence of positive effects, particularly on mental health and wellbeing', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63 57-58 (2016)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12277
Co-authors Elysa Roberts
2016 Williams L, Magin P, Sultana J, Haracz K, 'The role of occupational therapists in the provision of dietary interventions for people with severe mental illness: Results from a national survey', British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79 442-449 (2016) [C1]

© 2016 The Author(s).Introduction: People living with severe mental illness are at least twice as likely to be obese as the general population, partly due to lifestyle risk facto... [more]

© 2016 The Author(s).Introduction: People living with severe mental illness are at least twice as likely to be obese as the general population, partly due to lifestyle risk factors including poor diet quality. This study aims to quantify how Australian mental health occupational therapists address the dietary issues of people with severe mental illness. Method: A 23-item cross-sectional online survey was distributed via email to all members of Occupational Therapy Australia, with those working in mental health (an estimated 305 members) invited to participate. Response frequencies were analysed in SPSS. Open-ended comments were subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Eight-six eligible participants (28.2% of the target population) completed the full survey. Most (81%) felt confident in providing healthy eating advice, with 76% reporting being self-educated about nutrition. Dietitian support for complex advice was seen as beneficial by 88%, but only 30% reported reasonable access to dietitians. Qualitative themes included: Accessing dietitians, information and education, and putting advice into practice. Conclusion: There is potential to enhance the credentialling and continuing education of occupational therapists and improve inter-professional collaboration with dietitians to assist the occupational therapist in achieving better health and reducing the burden of chronic disease for people experiencing severe mental illness.

DOI 10.1177/0308022615620680
2015 Scanlan JN, Pépin G, Haracz K, Ennals P, Webster JS, Meredith PJ, 'Re: Modernising occupational therapy teaching, research and practice in mental health', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62 364-364 (2015) [C3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12245
2015 Haracz K, Ennals P, 'Occupational therapy intervention in mental health should be individualised, occupation focussed, promote inclusion and occur in the context of an authentic relationship', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62 365-366 (2015) [C3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12230
2015 Scanlan JN, Pepin G, Haracz K, Ennals P, Webster JS, Meredith PJ, et al., 'Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: Opinions of practising occupational therapists', AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY JOURNAL, 62 286-298 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12194
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
2015 Haracz K, Arrighi G, Joyce B, 'Simulated patients in a mental health occupational therapy course: A pilot study', British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78 757-766 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0308022614562792
Co-authors Gillian Arrighi
2014 Haracz K, Barnett F, 'Significant improvements in weight, body mass index and waist circumference for participants at the end of a 10-week health promotion intervention for people with mental disorders were not maintained at the six-month follow-up', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 464-465 (2014) [C3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12179
2013 Haracz K, Ryan S, Hazelton M, James C, 'Occupational therapy and obesity: An integrative literature review', AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY JOURNAL, 60 356-365 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12063
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Susan Ryan, Carole James, Michael Hazelton
2013 Cordier R, Haracz K, 'A behavioural weight-loss programme for overweight and obese adults with serious mental health illness significantly reduced weight over an 18-month period', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60 304-305 (2013) [C3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12065
Citations Scopus - 1
2012 Mahony G, Haracz K, Williams LT, 'How mental health occupational therapists address issues of diet with their clients: A qualitative study', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 59 294-301 (2012) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 2
Co-authors Lauren Williams
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (18 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Lupton B, James C, Ashby SE, Haracz K, 'An investigation into mental health consumers' experience of a community street soccer program: Preliminary findings from a grounded theory study', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Carole James, Samantha Ashby
2015 Arblaster K, Batten R, Bonassi M, Bowman S, Ennals P, Haracz K, et al., 'How do mental health curricula align with education priorities identified by occupational therapists currently practicing in mental health?', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2015) [E3]
2015 Haracz K, Chang NK, Arrighi G, Joyce B, 'Developing a simulation experience to support preparation of occupational therapy students for mental health practice', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Gillian Arrighi
2015 Scanlon J, Pepin G, Haracz K, Ennals P, Webster J, Meredith P, et al., 'Educational priorities for students to support optimal mental health practice: What do occupational therapists think?', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2015) [E3]
2015 Haracz K, James C, Hazelton M, 'Meeting the challenge of weight gain and obesity for people with severe mental illness: A contemporary practice issue', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Michael Hazelton, Carole James
2014 Lupton B, James CL, Ashby S, Haracz K, 'An investigation into mental health participants¿ experience of a community street soccer program: A grounded theory study', NSW & ACT Conference - Occupational Therapy: A life practice (2014) [E3]
Co-authors Samantha Ashby, Carole James
2014 Williams N, Haracz K, Robson E, Roach I, Edwards E, James CL, Ashby S, 'Mental health service-users¿ perspectives of support in an IPS supported employment program. A qualitative study', NSW & ACT Conference - Occupational Therapy: A life practice (2014) [E3]
Co-authors Samantha Ashby, Carole James
2013 Pepin G, Ennals P, Haracz K, Scanlan J, Meredith P, Webster J, et al., 'Preparing occupational therapy graduates for mental health practice: A unified approach to advancing education, practice and research in mental health occupational therapy', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal: Special Issue: Occupational Therapy Australia, 25th National Conference and Exhibition (2013)
2013 James C, Haracz K, Hazelton M, Ryan S, 'Addressing a global epidemic: a review of the evidence for occupational therapy practice in managing the causes and consequences of obesity', Special Issue: Occupational Therapy Australia (2013) [E3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12060
Co-authors Michael Hazelton, Susan Ryan, Carole James
2013 James C, Haracz K, Hazelton M, Ryan S, '¿Doing as much as I can¿: Experiences of Living with the ¿Double Whammy¿ of Schizophrenia and obesity: Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice', Special Issue: Occupational Therapy Australia (2013) [E3]
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12060
Co-authors Michael Hazelton, Susan Ryan, Carole James
2013 McKay E, Haracz K, Donnellan G, Mahon D, Sheldon S, 'Mental health users' experiences of participation and inclusion: a international study', BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (2013) [E3]
2011 Mahony G, Haracz K, Williams LT, 'How do mental health Occupational Therapists address issues of diet with their clients? A qualitative study', Proceedings of the 24th Occupational Therapy Australia National Conference (2011) [E3]
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2012.01028.x
Co-authors Lauren Williams
2011 Mahony G, Williams LT, Haracz K, 'Providing diet-related interventions to clients with a severe mental illness: Where does the OT role stop, and the dietitian role start?', Nutrition and Dietetics: Dietitians Association of Australia 29th National Conference Oral Program (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Lauren Williams
2010 Haracz K, Hazelton MJ, Ryan SE, 'Women with schizophrenia: Enabling engagement in occupations to manage their weight', British Journal of Occupational Therapy (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Susan Ryan, Michael Hazelton
2010 McKay E, Doran S, Henderick A, Sumsion T, Haracz K, 'Using the ICF as a framework to explore mental health service users experiences of activities, participation and environment: An international study', 15th World Federation of Occupational Therapists Conference (2010) [E3]
2009 Findlay NA, Haracz K, Johnston CL, MacDonald-Wicks LK, 'Interprofessional teaching of reflection in undergraduate health science programs', ANZAME09 Handbook (2009) [E3]
Co-authors Cath Johnston, Lesley Wicks
2009 Haracz K, Ryan SE, Judge JD, 'A woman's world: The experience of male occupational therapy students', National Men's Health Gathering 2009: Program and Abstracts (2009) [E3]
Co-authors Susan Ryan
2008 Haracz K, 'Constructivist Grounded Theory Method: A research methodology to help create a future of client centred evidence based practice in occupational therapy', OT Australia 23rd National Conference and Exhibition 2008 (2008) [E3]
Show 15 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 6
Total funding $51,447

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20131 grants / $1,500

Occupational Therapy Australia 25 National Conference & Exhibition, Adelaide 24-26 July 13$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Kirsti Haracz
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300757
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20122 grants / $34,822

Teaching Relief - Haracz$24,822

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Kirsti Haracz, Professor Darren Rivett
Scheme Equity Research Fellowship
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1100911
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Simulated Professional Communication: Creative Strategies for Accelerating Reflective Professional Leadership Skills and Decision-making through Role-play$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team

Gillian Arrighi

Scheme Discovery Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20092 grants / $14,400

How do women living with schizophrenia perceive and perform activities to manage their weight and promote their own health$9,900

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Kirsti Haracz
Scheme Early Career Researcher Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0190393
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Understanding and Enhancing Male OT Student Experience$4,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team

Kirsti Haracz

Scheme Equity Initiative Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20081 grants / $725

OT Australia 23rd National Conference, Sofietel Melbourne, 12/9/2008 - 13/9/2008$725

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Kirsti Haracz
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0189296
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.4

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Art and Sensory Environments: An Exploration of Tourette Syndrome and the Art of Abstract Play to Enhance Mental Health and Inclusive Quality of Life
PhD (Environ & Occupat Hlth), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD An Investigation into Mental Health Consumers' Experience of Participation in a Community Soccer Program
PhD (Occupational Therapy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
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Dr Kirsti Haracz

Position

Lecturer
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Occupational Therapy

Contact Details

Email kirsti.haracz@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6338
Fax (02) 4921 7053

Office

Room HB02
Building Hunter Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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