Dr Debbi Long

Casual Academic

School of Humanities and Social Science (Sociology and Anthropology)

Career Summary

Biography

Research Expertise
Debbi has extensive experience in qualitative research in health, most particularly in hospital based ethnography, having researched in a number of hospital environments including maternity, spinal, dialysis, and intensive care. She has worked as a consultant in a number of areas, including health management, infection control, industrial relations and rostering reform.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Masters Degree, University of Nijmegan - The Netherlands

Keywords

  • anthropology
  • cultural anthropology
  • feminist anthropology
  • health industrial relations
  • health organisation and management
  • hospital ethnography
  • medical anthropology
  • organisational and management analysis

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified 100
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Long D, Lee BB, Braithwaite J, 'Attempting clinical democracy: Enhancing multivocality in a multidisciplinary clinical team', Identity Trouble: Critical Discourse and Contested Identities 250-272 (2016)
DOI 10.1057/9780230593329
Citations Scopus - 1
2010 Iedema R, Long D, Carroll K, 'Corridor communication, spatial design and patient safety: Enacting and managing complexities', Organizational Spaces: Rematerializing the Workaday World, Edward Elgar Publishing, London 41-57 (2010) [B1]
Citations Scopus - 14

Journal article (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Baer HA, Singer M, Long D, Erickson P, 'Rebranding our field?: Toward an articulation of health anthropology', Current Anthropology, 57 494-510 (2016)

© 2016 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved. In this article, we consider whether the term ¿medical anthropology¿ is serving us as we... [more]

© 2016 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved. In this article, we consider whether the term ¿medical anthropology¿ is serving us as well as it could be and whether the term ¿health anthropology¿ could be more appropriate. We argue that medical anthropology is used metonymically; that is, it is a part of the field that is used, inaccurately, to describe the whole. Anthropologists research, teach, and consult in health work in far broader contexts than the term ¿medical¿ implies. Continuing to describe ourselves as medical anthropologists privileges biomedicine over other conceptualizations of health and saddles us with the risk of making ethnocentric assumptions about health, wellness, and unwellness into the field. It reproduces a focus on the individual, which is not reflective of many health and healing systems. Given the maturity, diversity, and complexity of our subdiscipline, we ask whether ¿health anthropology¿ may be a more accurate description of our collective endeavor.

DOI 10.1086/687509
2008 Long D, Hunter CL, van der Geest S, 'When the field is a ward or a clinic: Hospital ethnography INTRODUCTION', ANTHROPOLOGY & MEDICINE, 15 71-78 (2008) [C3]
DOI 10.1080/13648470802121844
Citations Scopus - 29Web of Science - 24
2007 Westbrook MT, Braithwaite J, Travaglia JF, Long D, Jorm C, Iedema RA, 'Promoting safety: Longer-term responses of three health professional groups to a safety improvement programme', International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 20 555-571 (2007)

Patient safety has been addressed since 2002 in the health system of New South Wales, Australia via a Safety Improvement Programme (SIP), which took a system-wide approach. The pr... [more]

Patient safety has been addressed since 2002 in the health system of New South Wales, Australia via a Safety Improvement Programme (SIP), which took a system-wide approach. The programme involved two-day courses to educate healthcare professionals to monitor and report incidents and analyse adverse events by conducting root cause analysis (RCA). This paper aims to predict that all professions would favour SIP but that their work and educational histories would result in doctors holding the least and nurses the most positive attitudes. Alternative hypotheses were that doctors' relative power and other professions' team-working skills would advantage the respective groups when conducting RCAs. Responses to a 2005 follow-up questionnaire survey of doctors (n=53), nurses (209) and allied health staff (59), who had participated in SIP courses, were analysed to compare: their attitudes toward the course; safety skills acquired and applied; perceived benefits of SIP and RCAs; and their experiences conducting RCAs. Significant differences existed between professions' responses with nurses being the most and doctors the least affirming. Allied health responses resembled those of nurses more than those of doctors. The professions' experiences conducting RCAs (number conducted, leadership, barriers encountered, findings implemented) were similar. Observational studies are needed to determine possible professional differences in the conduct of RCAs and any ensuing culture change that this may be eliciting. There is strong professional support for SIPs but less endorsement from doctors, who tend not to prefer the knowledge content and multidisciplinary teaching environment considered optimal for safety improvement education. This is a dilemma that needs to be addressed. Few longer-term SIPs' assessments have been realised and the differences between professional groups have not been well quantified. As a result of this paper, benefits of and barriers to conducting RCAs are now more clearly understood. © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DOI 10.1108/09526860710822707
Citations Scopus - 17
2007 Braithwaite J, Westbrook MT, Travaglia JF, Iedema R, Mallock NA, Long D, et al., 'Are health systems changing in support of patient safety?: A multi-methods evaluation of education, attitudes and practice', International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 20 585-601 (2007)

Purpose - The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of a health system-wide safety improvement program (SIP) three to four years after initial implementation. Design/me... [more]

Purpose - The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of a health system-wide safety improvement program (SIP) three to four years after initial implementation. Design/methodology/approach - The study employs multi-methods studies involving questionnaire surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, observational work, ethnographic studies, documentary analysis and literature reviews with regard to the state of New South Wales, Australia, where 90,000 health professionals, under the auspices of the Health Department, provide healthcare to a seven-million population. After enrolling many participants from various groups, the measurements included: numbers of staff trained and training quality; support for SIP; clinicians' reports of safety skills acquired, work practices changed and barriers to progress; RCAs undertaken; observation of functioning of teams; committees initiated and staff appointed to deal with adverse events; documentation and computer records of reports; and peak-level responses to adverse events. Findings - A cohort of 4 per cent of the state's health professionals has been trained and now applies safety skills and conducts RCAs. These and other senior professionals strongly support SIP, though many think further culture change is required if its benefits are to be more fully achieved and sustained. Improved information-handling systems have been adopted. Systems for reporting adverse incidents and conducting RCAs have been instituted , which are co-ordinated by NSW Health. When the appropriate structures, educational activities and systems are made available in the form of an SIP, measurable systems change might be introduced, as suggested by observations of the attitudes and behaviours of health practitioners and the increased reporting of, and action about, adverse events. Originality/value - Few studies into health systems change employ wide-ranging research methods and metrics. This study helps to fill this gap. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

DOI 10.1108/09526860710822725
Citations Scopus - 20
2006 Iedema RAM, Jorm C, Long D, Braithwaite J, Travaglia J, Westbrook M, 'Turning the medical gaze in upon itself: Root cause analysis and the investigation of clinical error', Social Science and Medicine, 62 1605-1615 (2006)

In this paper, we discuss how a technique borrowed from defense and manufacturing is being deployed in hospitals across the industrialized world to investigate clinical errors. We... [more]

In this paper, we discuss how a technique borrowed from defense and manufacturing is being deployed in hospitals across the industrialized world to investigate clinical errors. We open with a discussion of the levers used by policy makers to mandate that clinicians not just report errors, but also gather to investigate those errors using root cause analysis (RCA). We focus on the tensions created for clinicians as they are expected to formulate 'systems solutions' that go beyond blame. In addressing these matters, we present a discourse analysis of data derived during an evaluation of the NSW Health Safety Improvement Program. Data include transcripts of RCA meetings which were recorded in a local metropolitan teaching hospital. From this analysis we move back to the argument that RCA involves clinicians in 'immaterial labour', or the production of communication and information, and that this new labour realizes two important developments. First, because RCA is anchored in the principle of health care practitioners not just scrutinizing each other, but scrutinizing each others' errors, RCA is a challenging task. Second, thanks to turning the clinical gaze in on the clinical observer, RCA engenders a new level of reflexivity of clinical self and of clinical practice. We conclude with asking whether this reflexivity will lock the clinical gaze into a micro-sociology of error, or whether it will enable this gaze to influence matters superordinate to the specifics of practice and the design of clinical treatments; that is, the over-arching governance and structuring of hospital care. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.08.049
Citations Scopus - 55
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Conference (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Kabanoff S, Loxton D, Coles J, Long D, 'How Processes of University Ethics Approval for Research in Domestic Violence Can Mirror Strategies of Abuse That Perpetrators Use to Silence and Control Their Partners', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE METHODS (2017)
Co-authors Deborah Loxton
2017 Kabanoff S, Loxton D, Coles J, Long D, 'A Two-Way Street for Healing? An Alternative Model of Operations in Domestic Violence Services to Better Align With the Healing Processes of Both Clients and Staff Alike', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE METHODS (2017)
Co-authors Deborah Loxton
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current1

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.1

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Creative Survival; What We Can Learn From Women Who Have Experienced Violence, and How We Can Better Listen PhD (Gender & Health), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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Dr Debbi Long

Position

Casual Academic
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Sociology and Anthropology

Contact Details

Email debbi.long@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 7359

Office

Room W344
Building Behavioural Sciences Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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