Investigating Chronic Disease and Lifestyle in Rural Populations

Research aims and objectives

This research includes several individual studies, all aiming to understand different aspects of how the health and wellbeing of people living in rural areas can be improved through better lifestyle choices. The overarching aim is to help prevent people getting chronic diseases and improve the health of those already living with chronic conditions.

The focus is on how lifestyle choices can impact:

  • Cardiovascular diseases and conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels
  • Diabetes, particularly diabetes that affects women during their pregnancies

The research involves collaboration with rural-based clinicians who work with people who have chronic health problems. It also involves regular visits to large rural events to work directly with people living in rural areas. The research methods are diverse and generally quantitative in nature, depending on the aspect of the chronic disease that is being studied.

Project research methods include:

  • Improved communication between healthcare workers and clients - Healthy Conversation Skills Workshops
  • Evaluation of existing services and programs
  • Implementation and translation of evidence-based services and interventions
  • Systematic reviews of current literature
  • Analysis of pre-existing data sets that contain information about rural people
  • Direct data collection from rural people in exchange for brief health interventions

Information about current research studies related to this topic can be found here.


Department of Rural Health contacts:

Associate Professor Leanne Brown, Academic Lead – Teaching and Learning, Tamworth
Email: leanne.brown@newcastle.edu.au

Dr Tracy Schumacher, Clinical Teaching and Research Academic, Tamworth
Email: tracy.schumacher@newcastle.edu.au

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.