Dr Natasha Weaver

Dr Natasha Weaver

Education Focused Academic

School of Medicine and Public Health

Bringing literacy to numeracy

As an academic statistician and biostatistics teacher, Dr Natasha Weaver is equipping students with sound statistical knowledge and addressing anxiety associated with numeracy.

Dr Natasha Weaver

Dr Natasha Weaver teaches introductory biostatistics, a discipline that incorporates the design of biological experiments, and the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data they generate.

Vast numbers of students from varied specialties sign up to learn from Natasha, who wants nothing more than to impart in them a sound understanding of how statistics can be applied in their unique fields of expertise. Though her current focus is on using her knowledge to make a local impact, Natasha believes that if adequately inspired, her students will organically disseminate what they have learnt.

“Many of our students are headed for, or are already in, research or professional careers in public health, epidemiology, or other medical/clinical fields in Australia or other countries. My aim is for them to leave the course with an understanding of how statistics can contribute to their field.”

Natasha’s considered approach is alleviating students’ doubts about learning statistics and helping them see the subject as a tool for measuring evidence and understanding uncertainty (sometimes also called error or bias).

Changing mindsets

Natasha first embraced teaching as a necessary part of being an academic statistician and continues to find it fulfilling and an efficacious way to positively influence. Of the myriads of students who leave her lectures more numerate, she shares that many initially believe statistics to be boring, difficult, or only suited to a certain type of thinker. Over the duration of her course, Natasha shows an interesting, more fathomable side to the collection and analysis of numerical data.

“It’s great to help students see they are capable of understanding statistics, even when they think it isn’t for them. Even more so when students surprise themselves by enjoying it.”

Her ultimate goal is to equip students with sound statistical knowledge and to help alleviate the intimidation many of them feel when working with numbers.

Enriching understanding

Despite computers markedly improving accessibility to data analytical software, the misuse of statistics in medical and scientific studies remains prevalent. Natasha upholds that an improved understanding of statistics leads to better data collection and application, and trusted results. By teaching, she aims to provide the crucial first step in that all-important progression: the understanding.

“The real problem is the widespread lack of statistical understanding, and that many studies are being performed and published without expert advice in statistics. This is a huge problem and I want to be part of addressing it—to teach data literacy and critical thinking. We need to think very carefully about the way data is collected and used if we hope to rely on the results.”

But to properly grasp any subject, people must be comfortable with learning it. Natasha has identified that statistics and maths cause high-level anxiety among students and researchers, and is working to uncover possible reasons why.

“I’m really interested in understanding statistics anxiety in students, how it affects their ability and motivation to learn and how I can help mitigate that. As a society, we need people to be comfortable with numeracy because these people are voters, consumers, patients, and parents whose actions and beliefs can influence others.”

Recent events have highlighted this very fact and demonstrate how a basic understanding of statistical concepts can lead to positive change on an individual and national level.

“We’ve seen with COVID-19 that everyday people are talking about things like ‘flattening the curve’, exponential growth, and growth factor. Although these are mathematical concepts, there are ways to make them widely accessible to people. I think that Australia’s community response reflects that these messages have gotten through, people have understood that their individual actions matter and why it’s important that we all pull together.”

In her pursuit to be part of the solution, Natasha looks to create a similar level of insight that leads to action. She’s determined to change general reservations about statistics and to aid others in having that lightbulb moment when numbers start making sense.

Teaching and technology

In close collaboration with colleagues Liz Holliday and Daniel Barker, Natasha has been instrumental in designing a new curriculum launched in 2017 for the Master of Medical Statistics.

Aimed at providing students with a solid foundation in statistical theory, and practical experience in data analysis using statistical software, the program fast-tracks individuals with limited statistical knowledge and prepares them for a career as a statistician or an applied researcher with quantitative skills. For Natasha, it’s where teaching intuitively meets technology and yet another way in which her knowledge is forging change.

“I’m proud that I’ve ended up in a field that was only somewhat related to the field studied in my PhD. I started out in pure mathematics but I was able to get into a career that allowed me to use my quantitative skills to do work I enjoy and which contributes something meaningful to the real world.”

Natasha continues to work on projects with colleagues past and present who find her proficiency as a statistician and friendly nature indelible.

“I think it’s a great endorsement when someone wants to work with you again. I’ve had researchers who I’ve worked with in the past contact me years later to be involved in other projects. I love working with wonderful people who have great ideas or interesting questions and being able to support their research with my data analytic expertise.”

Bringing literacy to numeracy

As an academic statistician and biostatistics teacher, Dr Natasha Weaver is equipping students with sound statistical knowledge and addressing anxiety associated with numeracy.

Read more

Career Summary

Biography

Research Expertise

I currently consult and provide statistical advice and analysis for projects within the School of Medicine and Public Health or Hunter New England Health. I have recently been involved in analysing data from a survey of HNEH employees run by Staff Health Nurses, the Koori study, and some research projects by Traumatology residents.

Since 2016 I have worked with the School of Education, consulting and performing statistical analyses for the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre projects including Aspirations, a four-year longitudinal study of the educational and career aspirations of primary and secondary school students.

In 2012-2014 I worked as a consultant Statistician for the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle I provided statistical support to researchers from Hunter Medical Research Institute working in various areas of public health research. Major projects included: Australian Rural Mental Health Study (5 year longitudinal study), GP diagnosis of dementia, Healthy Lifestyles (smoking intervention RCT for people with severe mental disorder), and a comparison study of ageing populations in the Western Pacific Region for the World Health Organisation. 

My undergraduate background is in Pure Mathematics with elective studies in Statistics and Information Science. My PhD research explored a new connection between two different areas of pure mathematics: Dynamical Systems and Operator Algebras. There is an important connection between the study of dynamical systems called Markov shifts and the study of directed graphs. In my thesis I introduced a family of higher-rank graphs (the higher-dimensional analogues of directed graphs) that arise from 2-dimensional Markov shifts with algebraic properties. I then explored the operator algebras known as C*-algebras, which are associated to this family of graphs. In particular, the C*-algebras were shown to have nice properties following from aperiodicity of the underlying graphs. 

Teaching Expertise

Since 2017 I have coordinated postgraduate services courses in biostatistics (Bios A and Bios B) as well as courses in the Master of Medical Statistics program. I developed the course materials for three new courses: Mathematics and Applied Statistics, Probability Distribution Theory, and Data Wrangling and Visualisation. In previous years I have assisted with teaching of Bios A/B and Data Management and Computing postgraduate courses. 

Administrative Expertise

Since 2018 I have been Deputy Program Convenor for the Master of Medical Statistics. I have also supervised PhD students undertaking Teaching internships within the School of Medicine and Public Health.

Two year's experience (2014-2016) as a Data Analyst for the Research Performance and Systems (RPS) team in the Research and Innovation Division, reporting on research performance data and providing advice to Faculty and senior management on government reporting procedures (HERDC, ERA) and block grant funding.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Mathematics, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Mathematics (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Biostatistics
  • C*-algebra
  • C*-algebras
  • Functional Analysis
  • Operator Algebra
  • Pure Mathematics
  • SAS
  • Stata
  • Statistics
  • Statistics teaching
  • medical statistics

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators 40
490501 Applied statistics 60

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/3/2012 - 1/2/2014 Statistician

In my role as a Statistician for the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle I provided statistical support to researchers from Hunter Medical Research Institute working in various areas of public health research. I have skills in data management and statistical analysis using the software packages SAS and Stata. Major projects include: Australian Rural Mental Health Study (5 year longitudinal study), Healthy Lifestyles (smoking intervention RCT for people with severe mental disorder), and a comparison study of ageing populations in the Western Pacific Region for the World Health Organisation.

University of Newcastle
Hunter Medical Research Institute
Australia
1/8/2010 - 1/12/2012 Analyst

Operations Research

Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Land Operations Division
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/3/2014 - 1/2/2016 Data Analyst

As a Data Analyst for the Research Services Division, my work involved querying the university databases (using SQL) for data requests and preparing ad-hoc reports for academics, management, and executives. I also created data visualisations and pivot tables using Spotfire and SAS Visual Analytics and provided consultation on research data and advice on government reporting procedures (HERDC) and block grant funding.

The University of Newcastle - Research and Innovation Division
Research Performance and Systems (RPS)
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2019 CAPHIA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Public Health teaching (Early Career)
Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia
2018 DVC(A) Merit List for Learning and Teaching
The University of Newcastle
2018 NUPSA Online Teacher of the Year
Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association
2017 Highly Commended Teaching Award
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
BIOS6040 Mathematics for Applied Statistics
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer and Course Coordinator 27/2/2017 - 23/6/2017
BIOS6920 Biostatistics B
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer and Course Coordinator 24/7/2017 - 24/11/2017
BIOS6040 Mathematics for Applied Statistics
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer and Course Coordinator 24/7/2017 - 24/11/2017
BIOS6910 Biostatistics A
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer and Course Coordinator 27/2/2017 - 23/6/2017
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Publications

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


Journal article (23 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Patfield S, Gore J, Weaver N, 'On 'being first': the case for first-generation status in Australian higher education equity policy', AUSTRALIAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER, (2021)
DOI 10.1007/s13384-020-00428-2
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Sally Patfield, Jenny Gore
2021 Lubans DR, Smith JJ, Eather N, Leahy AA, Morgan PJ, Lonsdale C, et al., 'Time-efficient intervention to improve older adolescents' cardiorespiratory fitness: Findings from the a Burn 2 Learn' cluster randomised controlled trial', British Journal of Sports Medicine, 55 751-758 (2021) [C1]

Background Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important marker of current and future health status. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a time-efficient ... [more]

Background Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important marker of current and future health status. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a time-efficient school-based intervention on older adolescents' CRF. Methods Two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in two cohorts (February 2018 to February 2019 and February 2019 to February 2020) in New South Wales, Australia. Participants (N=670, 44.6% women, 16.0±0.43 years) from 20 secondary schools: 10 schools (337 participants) were randomised to the Burn 2 Learn (B2L) intervention and 10 schools (333 participants) to the control. Teachers in schools allocated to the B2L intervention were provided with training, resources, and support to facilitate the delivery of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) activity breaks during curriculum time. Teachers and students in the control group continued their usual practice. The primary outcome was CRF (20 m multi-stage fitness test). Secondary outcomes were muscular fitness, physical activity, hair cortisol concentrations, mental health and cognitive function. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 6 months (primary end-point) and 12 months. Effects were estimated using mixed models accounting for clustering. Results We observed a group-by-time effect for CRF (difference=4.1 laps, 95% CI 1.8 to 6.4) at the primary end-point (6 months), but not at 12 months. At 6 months, group-by-time effects were found for muscular fitness, steps during school hours and cortisol. Conclusions Implementing HIIT during curricular time improved adolescents' CRF and several secondary outcomes. Our findings suggest B2L is unlikely to be an effective approach unless teachers embed sessions within the school day. Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12618000293268).

DOI 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103277
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Ron Plotnikoff, Jordan Smith, Sarah Valkenborghs, Rohan Walker, Michael Nilsson, Narelle Eather, Philip Morgan, Liz Holliday, Sarah Kennedy, Angus Leahy, David Lubans
2021 Cowan T, Weaver N, Whitfield A, Bell L, Sebastian A, Hurley S, et al., 'The epidemiology of overtransfusion of red cells in trauma resuscitation patients in the context of a mature massive transfusion protocol.', Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg, (2021)
DOI 10.1007/s00068-021-01678-0
Co-authors Zsolt Balogh
2021 Abbas SS, Majeed T, Weaver N, Nair BR, Forder PM, Byles JE, 'Utility estimations of health states of older Australian women with atrial fibrillation using SF-6D', Quality of Life Research, 30 1457-1466 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s11136-020-02748-3
Co-authors Peta Forder, Julie Byles, Tazeen Majeed, Kichu Nair
2021 Courtney RJ, McRobbie H, Tutka P, Weaver NA, Petrie D, Mendelsohn CP, et al., 'Effect of Cytisine vs Varenicline on Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Clinical Trial.', JAMA, 326 56-64 (2021)
DOI 10.1001/jama.2021.7621
Co-authors Chris Paul
2020 Wheeler JA, Weaver N, Balogh ZJ, Drobetz H, Kovendy A, Enninghorst N, 'Radiation Exposure in Patients with Isolated Limb Trauma: Acceptable or Are We Imaging Too Much?', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE, 9 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/jcm9113609
Co-authors Zsolt Balogh
2020 Mate K, Kerr K, Priestley A, Weaver N, Broe GA, Daylight G, et al., 'Use of tricyclic antidepressants and other anticholinergic medicines by older Aboriginal Australians: association with negative health outcomes', International Psychogeriatrics, (2020)

Background:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have a relatively high prevalence of multimorbidity requiring treatment with medications. This study examines medicati... [more]

Background:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have a relatively high prevalence of multimorbidity requiring treatment with medications. This study examines medication use and anticholinergic burden (ACB) among a cohort of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.Method:This cross-sectional study involving five Aboriginal communities (two in metropolitan Sydney and three on the mid-north coast of New South Wales) used a structured interview process to assess cognition, depression, and activities of daily living for a cohort of older adults (aged 60 years and over). Participants also reported on their health status, medical history, and prescription medications during the interview. ACB was calculated, and its association with adverse health outcomes including cognitive impairment, falls, hospitalization, and depressive symptoms were examined.Results:Most participants (95%) were taking at least one regular medication with polypharmacy (=5 medications) observed in 43% of participants; 12.2% had a significant ACB (=3) with antidepressants being a major contributor. Anticholinergic medication use was associated with cognitive impairment, recent hospitalization (past 12 months), and depressive symptoms. After controlling for age, sex, and comorbidity, only the presence of depressive symptoms remained significantly associated with the use of anticholinergic medication (odds ratio 2.86; 95% confidence interval 1.48-5.51).Conclusions:Clinically significant ACB was common in older Aboriginal Australians and was largely attributable to inappropriate use of tricyclic antidepressants. Greater awareness of medication-related risk factors among both health care professionals and Aboriginal communities can play an important role in improving health and quality of life outcomes.

DOI 10.1017/S104161022000174X
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Karen Mate
2020 Abbas SS, Majeed T, Nair BR, Forder P, Weaver N, Byles J, 'Burden of atrial fibrillation and stroke risk among octagenarian and nonagenarian women in Australia', Annals of Epidemiology, 44 31-37.e2 (2020) [C1]

Purpose: To determine the prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among older Australian women from 2000 to 2015, determine factors associated with AF, and to calcula... [more]

Purpose: To determine the prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among older Australian women from 2000 to 2015, determine factors associated with AF, and to calculate risk of stroke at the time of AF diagnosis. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of 6671 women of the 1921¿1926 birth cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, linked to data from hospital admissions to identify AF and National Death Index to determine date of death. Yearly prevalence and incidence proportions of AF, and stroke risk using CHA2DS2-VA scheme, were calculated. Factors associated with AF were assessed using logistic regression. Results: From 2000 to 2015, a total of 1827 women with AF were identified. AF prevalence increased every year as women aged from 2.71% (95% CI 1.62%¿3.80%) in 2000 among women aged 74¿79 years to 24.83% (95% CI = 23.23%¿26.44%) in 2015 among women aged 89¿94 years. The incidence proportion remained constant (between 3% and 5%) throughout the study period. Sedentary lifestyle (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.04¿1.49), hypertension (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.09¿1.42), arthritis (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.09¿1.41), heart attack (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.18¿2.24), and angina (OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.14¿1.70) were independently associated with AF. Mean CHA2DS2-VA score for women with AF was 3.43 (SD ± 1.23). Conclusions: The prevalence of AF reported in Australian women is among the highest compared to previous estimations from other countries and regions. According to the findings, about one in four women over the age of 90 years had AF. These women were also at high risk of stroke. This has significant public health implications especially with changing demographics of increase in the aging population. Further research is required on understanding how women with AF are treated in Australia and their health outcomes.

DOI 10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.02.004
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Julie Byles, Kichu Nair, Peta Forder, Tazeen Majeed
2020 Szewczyk Z, Weaver N, Rollo M, Deeming S, Holliday E, Reeves P, Collins C, 'Maternal diet quality, body mass index and resource use in the perinatal period: An observational study', Nutrients, 12 1-21 (2020) [C1]

The impact of pre-pregnancy obesity and maternal diet quality on the use of healthcare resources during the perinatal period is underexplored. We assessed the effects of body mass... [more]

The impact of pre-pregnancy obesity and maternal diet quality on the use of healthcare resources during the perinatal period is underexplored. We assessed the effects of body mass index (BMI) and diet quality on the use of healthcare resources, to identify whether maternal diet quality may be effectively targeted to reduce antenatal heath care resource use, independent of women¿s BMI. Cross-sectional data and inpatient medical records were gathered from pregnant women attending publicly funded antenatal outpatient clinics in Newcastle, Australia. Dietary intake was self-reported, using the Australian Eating Survey (AES) food frequency questionnaire, and diet quality was quantified from the AES subscale, the Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS). Mean pre-pregnancy BMI was 28.8 kg/m2 (range: 14.7 kg/m2¿64 kg/m2). Mean ARFS was 28.8 (SD = 13.1). Higher BMI was associated with increased odds of caesarean delivery; women in obese class II (35.0¿39.9 kg/m2) had significantly higher odds of caesarean delivery compared to women of normal weight, (OR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.03 to 4.39; p = 0.04). Using Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group categories for birth admission, the average cost of the birth admission was $1348 more for women in the obese class II, and $1952 more for women in the obese class III, compared to women in a normal BMI weight class. Higher ARFS was associated with a small statistically significant reduction in maternal length of stay (RR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.00, 1.54; p = 0.05). There was no evidence of an association between ARFS and mode of delivery or ¿midwifery-in-the-home-visits¿.

DOI 10.3390/nu12113532
Co-authors Clare Collins, Megan Rollo, Liz Holliday
2020 Abbas SS, Majeed T, Nair BR, Forder PM, Weaver N, Byles JE, 'Patterns of Medications for Atrial Fibrillation Among Older Women: Results From the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health', JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS, 26 59-66 (2020)
DOI 10.1177/1074248420947278
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Tazeen Majeed, Peta Forder, Kichu Nair, Julie Byles
2019 McCambridge J, Wilson A, Attia J, Weaver N, Kypri K, 'Randomized trial seeking to induce the Hawthorne effect found no evidence for any effect on self-reported alcohol consumption online', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 108 102-109 (2019) [C1]

Objective: We tested the hypothesis that participants who know the behavioral focus of a study and are thus aware that a particular behavior is being studied will modify that beha... [more]

Objective: We tested the hypothesis that participants who know the behavioral focus of a study and are thus aware that a particular behavior is being studied will modify that behavior, independently of any possible effect of assessment, thereby dismantling a Hawthorne effect into two putative components. Study Design and Setting: We undertook a three-arm individually randomized trial online among students: group A (control) were told they were completing a lifestyle survey; group B were told the focus of the survey was alcohol consumption; and group C additionally answered 20 questions on their alcohol use and its consequences before answering the same lifestyle questions as Groups A and B. Nondrinkers were excluded, and all groups were aware they would be followed up after 1 month. Results: Outcome data were obtained for 4,583 of 5,478 trial participants (84% follow-up rate). There were no differences between the three groups on primary (overall volume consumed) or secondary outcome measures (drinking frequency and amount per typical occasion) in the intervening 4 weeks. Conclusions: There is no evidence that any form of Hawthorne effect exists in relation to self-reported alcohol consumption online among university students in usual research practice. Attention to study contexts is warranted for investigating research participation effects.

DOI 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2018.11.016
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 5
Co-authors John Attia, Kypros Kypri
2019 McCambridge J, Wilson A, Attia J, Weaver N, Kypri K, 'The reply to Sharpe et al.: Hawthorne effect in the YourCall trial suggested by participants qualitative responses', JOURNAL OF CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, 115 180-181 (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2019.05.034
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors John Attia, Kypros Kypri
2018 Pond D, Mate K, Stocks N, Gunn J, Disler P, Magin P, et al., 'Effectiveness of a peer-mediated educational intervention in improving general practitioner diagnostic assessment and management of dementia: a cluster randomised controlled trial.', BMJ open, 8 1-12 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021125
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Karen Mate, Dimity Pond, Parker Magin, Graeme Horton
2017 Gore J, Patfield S, Holmes K, Smith M, Lloyd A, Gruppetta M, et al., 'When higher education is possible but not desirable: Widening participation and the aspirations of Australian Indigenous school students', Australian Journal of Education, (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0004944117710841
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 8
Co-authors Sally Patfield, Jenny Gore, Leanne Fray, Adam Lloyd, Maxwell Smith
2017 Gore J, Holmes K, Smith M, Fray L, McElduff P, Weaver N, Wallington C, 'Unpacking the career aspirations of Australian school students: towards an evidence base for university equity initiatives in schools', Higher Education Research and Development, 36 1383-1400 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/07294360.2017.1325847
Citations Scopus - 27Web of Science - 25
Co-authors Leanne Fray, Jenny Gore, Maxwell Smith, Patrick Mcelduff
2015 Baker AL, Richmond R, Kay-Lambkin FJ, Filia SL, Castle D, Williams JM, et al., 'Randomized controlled trial of a healthy lifestyle intervention among smokers with psychotic disorders', Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 17 946-954 (2015) [C1]

Introduction: People with severe mental disorders typically experience a range of health problems; consequently, interventions addressing multiple health behaviors may provide an ... [more]

Introduction: People with severe mental disorders typically experience a range of health problems; consequently, interventions addressing multiple health behaviors may provide an efficient way to tackle this major public health issue. This two-arm randomized controlled trial among people with psychotic disorders examined the efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) plus either a faceto- face or predominantly telephone delivered intervention for smoking cessation and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction. Methods: Following baseline assessment and completion of a common, individually delivered 90-minute face-to-face intervention, participants (n = 235) were randomized to receive NRT plus: (1) a "Healthy Lifestyles" intervention for smoking cessation and CVD risk behaviors or (2) a predominantly telephone-based intervention (designed to control for NRT provision, session frequency, and other monitoring activities). Research assistants blind to treatment allocation performed assessments at 15 weeks (mid-intervention) and 12 months after baseline. Results: There were no significant differences between intervention conditions in CVD risk or smoking outcomes at 15 weeks or 12 months, with improvements in both conditions (eg, 12 months: 6.4% confirmed point prevalence abstinence rate; 17% experiencing a 50% or greater smoking reduction; mean reduction of 8.6 cigarettes per day; mean improvement in functioning of 9.8 points). Conclusions: The health disparity experienced by people with psychotic disorders is high. Faceto- face Healthy Lifestyle interventions appear to be feasible and somewhat effective. However, given the accessibility of telephone delivered interventions, potentially combined with lower cost, further studies are needed to evaluate telephone delivered smoking cessation and lifestyle interventions for people with psychotic disorders.

DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntv039
Citations Scopus - 38Web of Science - 34
Co-authors Amanda Baker, Vanessa Clark, Robin Callister, Frances Kaylambkin, Terry Lewin
2015 Handley TE, Kelly BJ, Lewin TJ, Coleman C, Stain HJ, Weaver N, Inder KJ, 'Long-term effects of lifetime trauma exposure in a rural community sample Health behavior, health promotion and society', BMC Public Health, 15 (2015) [C1]

Background: This study examines the long-term outcomes of lifetime trauma exposure, including factors that contribute to the development of PTSD, in a sample of rural adults. Meth... [more]

Background: This study examines the long-term outcomes of lifetime trauma exposure, including factors that contribute to the development of PTSD, in a sample of rural adults. Methods: In 623 rural community residents, lifetime trauma exposure, PTSD, other psychiatric disorders and lifetime suicidal ideation were assessed using the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Logistic regressions were used to examine relationships between potentially traumatic events (PTEs) and lifetime PTSD and other diagnoses. Results: 78.2 % of participants reported at least on PTE. Rates were broadly comparable with Australian national data: the most commonly endorsed events were unexpected death of a loved one (43.7 %); witnessing injury or death (26.3 %); and life-threatening accident (19.3 %). While the mean age of the sample was 55 years, the mean age of first trauma exposure was 19 years. The estimated lifetime rate of PTSD was 16.0 %. Events with the strongest association with PTSD were physical assault and unexpected death of a loved one. Current functioning was lowest among those with current PTSD, with this group reporting elevated psychological distress, higher mental health service use, a greater number of comorbidities, and lower perceived social support. Respondents with a past PTE but no PTSD history were generally similar in terms of their current wellbeing to those with no lifetime PTE. Conclusions: PTEs may have diverse psychological and social consequences beyond the development of PTSD. Ensuring that adequate support services are available in rural areas, particularly in the period immediately following a PTE, may reduce the long-term impact of traumatic events.

DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-2490-y
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 11
Co-authors Tonelle Handley, Kerry Inder, Terry Lewin, Brian Kelly
2015 Wolfenden L, Finch M, Nathan N, Weaver N, Wiggers J, Yoong SL, et al., 'Factors associated with early childhood education and care service implementation of healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices in Australia: a cross-sectional study', Translational Behavioral Medicine, 5 327-334 (2015) [C1]

Many early childhood education and care (ECEC) services fail to implement recommended policies and practices supportive of healthy eating and physical activity. The purpose of thi... [more]

Many early childhood education and care (ECEC) services fail to implement recommended policies and practices supportive of healthy eating and physical activity. The purpose of this study was to assess whether certain theoretically-based factors are associated with implementation of healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices in a sample of ECEC services. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with Service Managers of ECEC services. The survey assessed the operational characteristics, policy, and practice implementation, and 13 factors were suggested by Damschroder¿s Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to impede or promote implementation. Logistic regression analyses found a significant association between implementation factor score and full implementation (OR 1.38; 95% CI 1.18¿1.61; p = <0.01), indicating that for every one point increase in implementation score, ECEC services were 38¿% more likely to be fully implementing the policies and practices. The findings highlight the opportunities for improving implementation of obesity prevention interventions in this setting by developing interventions that address such factors.

DOI 10.1007/s13142-015-0319-y
Citations Scopus - 20Web of Science - 20
Co-authors Rebecca Wyse, Rachel Sutherland, Nicole Nathan, Luke Wolfenden, Serene Yoong, John Wiggers
2014 Handley TE, Kay-Lambkin FJ, Inder KJ, Lewin TJ, Attia JR, Fuller J, et al., 'Self-reported contacts for mental health problems by rural residents: Predicted service needs, facilitators and barriers', BMC Psychiatry, 14 (2014) [C1]

Background: Rural and remote Australians face a range of barriers to mental health care, potentially limiting the extent to which current services and support networks may provide... [more]

Background: Rural and remote Australians face a range of barriers to mental health care, potentially limiting the extent to which current services and support networks may provide assistance. This paper examines self-reported mental health problems and contacts during the last 12¿months, and explores cross-sectional associations between potential facilitators/barriers and professional and non-professional help-seeking, while taking into account expected associations with socio-demographic and health-related factors. Methods: During the 3-year follow-up of the Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS) a self-report survey was completed by adult rural residents (N = 1,231; 61% female 77% married; 22% remote location; mean age = 59¿years), which examined socio-demographic characteristics, current health status factors, predicted service needs, self-reported professional and non-professional contacts for mental health problems in the last 12¿months, other aspects of help-seeking, and perceived barriers. Results: Professional contacts for mental health problems were reported by 18% of the sample (including 14% reporting General Practitioner contacts), while non-professional contacts were reported by 16% (including 14% reporting discussions with family/friends). Perceived barriers to health care fell under the domains of structural (e.g., costs, distance), attitudinal (e.g., stigma concerns, confidentiality), and time commitments. Participants with 12-month mental health problems who reported their needs as met had the highest levels of service use. Hierarchical logistic regressions revealed a dose-response relationship between the level of predicted need and the likelihood of reporting professional and non-professional contacts, together with associations with socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, relationships, and financial circumstances), suicidal ideation, and attitudinal factors, but not geographical remoteness. Conclusions: Rates of self-reported mental health problems were consistent with baseline findings, including higher rural contact rates with General Practitioners. Structural barriers displayed mixed associations with help-seeking, while attitudinal barriers were consistently associated with lower service contacts. Developing appropriate interventions that address perceptions of mental illness and attitudes towards help-seeking is likely to be vital in optimising treatment access and mental health outcomes in rural areas.

DOI 10.1186/s12888-014-0249-0
Citations Scopus - 20Web of Science - 15
Co-authors Frances Kaylambkin, John Attia, David Perkins, Kerry Inder, Brian Kelly, Terry Lewin, Tonelle Handley
2014 Inder KJ, Handley TE, Johnston A, Weaver N, Coleman C, Lewin TJ, et al., 'Determinants of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts: Parallel cross-sectional analyses examining geographical location', BMC Psychiatry, 14 (2014) [C1]

Background: Suicide death rates in Australia are higher in rural than urban communities however the contributors to this difference remain unclear. Geographical differences in sui... [more]

Background: Suicide death rates in Australia are higher in rural than urban communities however the contributors to this difference remain unclear. Geographical differences in suicidal ideation and attempts were explored using two datasets encompassing urban and rural community residents to examine associations between socioeconomic, demographic and mental health factors. Differing patterns of association between psychiatric disorder and suicidal ideation and attempts as geographical remoteness increased were investigated.Methods: Parallel cross-sectional analyses were undertaken using data from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (2007-NSMHWB, n = 8,463), under-representative of remote and very remote residents, and selected participants from the Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS, n = 634), over-representative of remote and very remote residents. Uniform measures of suicidal ideation and attempts and mental disorder using the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WMH-CIDI-3.0) were used in both datasets. Geographic region was classified into major cities, inner regional and other. A series of logistic regressions were undertaken for the outcomes of 12-month and lifetime suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts, adjusting for age, gender and psychological distress. A sub-analysis of the ARMHS sample was undertaken with additional variables not available in the 2007-NSMHWB dataset.Results: Rates and determinants of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts across geographical region were similar. Psychiatric disorder was the main determinant of 12-month and lifetime suicidal ideation and lifetime suicide attempts across all geographical regions. For lifetime suicidal ideation and attempts, marital status, employment status, perceived financial adversity and mental health service use were also important determinants. In the ARMHS sub-analysis, higher optimism and better perceived infrastructure and service accessibility tended to be associated with a lower likelihood of lifetime suicidal ideation, when age, gender, psychological distress, marital status and mental health service use were taken into account.Conclusions: Rates and determinants of suicidal ideation and attempts did not differ according to geographical location. Psychiatric disorder, current distress, employment and financial adversity remain important factors associated with suicidal ideation and attempts across all regions in Australia. Regional characteristics that influence availability of services and lower personal optimism may also be associated with suicidal ideation in rural communities. © 2014 Inder et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

DOI 10.1186/1471-244X-14-208
Citations Scopus - 23Web of Science - 19
Co-authors Brian Kelly, Terry Lewin, Tonelle Handley, Kerry Inder
2013 Pond CD, Mate KE, Phillips J, Stocks NP, Magin PJ, Weaver N, Brodaty H, 'Predictors of agreement between general practitioner detection of dementia and the revised Cambridge Cognitive Assessment (CAMCOG-R)', INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOGERIATRICS, 25 1639-1647 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S1041610213000884
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Parker Magin, Dimity Pond, Karen Mate
2010 Pask D, Raeburn I, Weaver NA, 'Periodic-2-graphs arising from subshifts', Bulletin of the Australian Mathematical Society, 82 120-138 (2010) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
2009 Pask D, Raeburn I, Weaver NA, 'A family of 2-graphs arising from two-dimensional subshifts', Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, 29 1613-1639 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/s0143385708000795
Citations Scopus - 19Web of Science - 17
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Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Pond CD, Brodaty H, Stocks NP, Gunn J, Disler P, Paterson NE, et al., 'Improving general practitioner identification rates of dementia: The effectiveness of medical detailing plus audit', IPA 2012: International Psychigeriatric Association International Meeting Abstracts, Cairns (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Parker Magin, Dimity Pond, Karen Mate

Report (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Gore J, Jaremus F, Lloyd A, Fray L, Prieto-Rodriguez E, Weaver N, 'Girls in mathematics: final report', Estate of the Margaret Bowers, 57 (2017)
Co-authors Jenny Gore, Leanne Fray, Elena Prieto
2017 Gore J, Ellis H, Fray LT, Smith M, Lloyd A, Berrigan C, et al., 'Choosing VET: investigating the VET aspirations of school students', National Centre for Vocational Education and Training (NCVER) (2017)
Co-authors Jenny Gore, Leanne Fray, Maxwell Smith
2016 Gore JM, Weaver N, Lloyd A, Smith M, 'Teaching experience and relative socio-educational school advantage: Assessing their impact on classroom management and effective teaching', Grattan Institute, 21 (2016)
Co-authors Maxwell Smith, Jenny Gore, Adam Lloyd
2014 Byles JE, Curryer CA, Edwards N, Weaver N, D'Este C, Hall J, Kowal P, 'The health of older people in selected countries of the Western Pacific Region', World Health Organisation, 54 (2014) [R1]
Co-authors Catherine Deste, Paul Kowal, Julie Byles, John Hall, Cassie Curryer
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 2
Total funding $29,635

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


20211 grants / $25,090

Development and transfer of data linkage key and dataset for Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel$25,090

Funding body: Department of Veterans` Affairs

Funding body Department of Veterans` Affairs
Project Team Doctor Meredith Tavener, Doctor Natasha Weaver, Conjoint Professor Cate d'Este
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G2100281
Type Of Funding C2200 - Aust Commonwealth – Other
Category 2200
UON Y

20161 grants / $4,545

Effective Teaching and Classroom Management$4,545

Funding body: Grattan Institute

Funding body Grattan Institute
Project Team Laureate Professor Jennifer Gore, Doctor Adam Lloyd, Doctor Natasha Weaver, Professor Max Smith
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1601151
Type Of Funding C3100 – Aust For Profit
Category 3100
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current2

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 PhD Using Epidemiological Evidence to Aid Tailored Joint Decision Making in Areas of Clinical Uncertainty in the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) in Later Life PhD (Clinic Epid & MedStats), College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2017 PhD A Psychophysiological Study Measuring the Experience of Stress Amongst Emergency Registered Nurses with a Focus on the Triage Area of the Emergency Department in Several Regional and Metropolitan Public Hospitals in Australia PhD (Nursing), College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 PhD On ‘Being First’: Reconsidering Australian Higher Education Equity Policy Through a Comprehensive Analysis of the Aspirations of Prospective First-In-Family Students PhD (Education), College of Human and Social Futures, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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News

The universal value of learning statistics (and it doesn't have to be boring)

October 30, 2019

As an inaugural recipient of a DVC(A) Merit List Award for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Lecturer in Statistics, Dr Natasha Weaver, shares her approach to education and what makes a great teacher.

Dr Natasha Weaver

Position

Education Focused Academic
CCEB, School of Medicine and Public Health
School of Medicine and Public Health
College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing

Contact Details

Email natasha.weaver@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49217188

Office

Building Hunter Medical Research Institute
Location John Hunter Hospital campus New Lambton

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