Dr Karen Gardner

Deputy Director PSRG
School of Business
Public Service Research Group
  • ABOUT
  • PUBLICATIONS

Karen is Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director in the Public Service Research Group at the School of Business, UNSW Canberra. She has a background in sociology, a masters in population health and a PhD in primary health care.  She currently convenes the Complex Systems Research theme in the PSRG and teaches People and Systems, and Procurement in the Masters of Business program.

Before moving into academia, Karen worked in practice and policy roles in the non-government sector and in government in the areas of youth health and homelessness, and primary health care reform. This galvanised her interest in studying policy and program implementation in complex real world settings, working in partnership with providers, policy makers and consumer stakeholders. Her work draws on sociological and evaluation theories to investigate how program design and implementation processes might better engage with and serve the interests of citizens. She has led large scale program evaluations, specialising in applying evaluation theory and qualitative approaches in mixed method designs. Recent projects include an evaluation of a systems based intervention for the elimination of crusted scabies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; projects exploring the implementation and use of data in continuous quality improvement and primary care performance measurement programs, and consumer engagement in commissioning.

Karen has been a consultant to the Australian, ACT and NSW governments. She has more than 100 working papers, technical reports, conference presentations and peer reviewed publications and has published in the Mandarin and the Guardian. She is a current member of the Evaluation Working Group, Health Care Homes, Australian Department of Health (2019-2022); member of the Research Advisory Group, Institute of Urban Indigenous Health;  and patient representative on the writing committee of the 2020 Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society and the Heart Rhythm Society Expert Consensus Statement on Investigation of Patients with Sudden Cardiac Arrest and of Their Families.  

Current research projects include:

  • Gardner K, Van Gool K, Campbell M, Dickinson H.  Evaluation of a Crusted Scabies Elimination project in the NT
  • Gardner K, Trueman J, Marsh S, Baldock E, Glennie M. Planned homebirth in the ACT: an archival study of an ACT Midwife-GP shared care model 1976-2001
  • Olney S, Gardner K, Carey G, Hanrahan, P. Data Governance and the NDIS.

 

Research Area

Journal articles

Raphiphatthana B; Maulana H; Howarth T; Gardner K; Nagel T, 2020, 'Digital Mental Health Resources for Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Immigrants: Protocol for a Scoping Review.', JMIR Res Protoc, vol. 9, pp. e19031, http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/19031

Gardner K; Dickinson H; Moon K, 2019, 'Re-orienting health systems through a commissioning approach: Finding solutions for improved consumer engagement', Health Research Policy and Systems, vol. 17, pp. 71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12961-019-0471-9

Gardner K; Olney S; Dickinson H, 2018, 'Getting smarter with data: Understanding tensions in the use of data in assurance and improvement-oriented performance management systems to improve their implementation', Health Research Policy and Systems, vol. 16, pp. 125, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12961-018-0401-2

Kearns R; Gardner K; Silveira M; Woodland L; Hua M; Katz M; Takas K; McDonald J; Harris-Roxas B, 2018, 'Shaping interventions to address waterpipe smoking in Arabic-speaking communities in Sydney, Australia: A qualitative study', BMC Public Health, vol. 18, pp. 1379, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6270-3

Gardner K; Kearns R; Woodland L; Silveira M; Hua M; Katz M; Takas K; McDonald J, 2018, 'A scoping review of the evidence on health promotion interventions for reducing waterpipe smoking: Implications for practice', Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 6, pp. 308, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00308

Gardner K; Sibthorpe B; Chan M; Sargent G; Dowden M; McAullay D, 2018, 'Implementation of continuous quality improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care in Australia: A scoping systematic review', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3308-2

McNamara RJ; Kearns RL; Dennis SM; Harris MF; Gardner K; McDonald J, 2018, 'Knowledge, Skill, and Confidence in People Attending Pulmonary Rehabilitation: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the effects and Determinants of Patient Activation', Journal of Patient Experience, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2374373518778864

Sibthorpe B; Gardner K; Chan M; Dowden M; Sargent G; McAullay D, 2018, 'Impacts of continuous quality improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander primary health care in Australia: A scoping systematic review', Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 32, pp. 545 - 571, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-02-2018-0056

van der Linden N; van Gool K; Gardner K; Dickinson H; Agostino J; Regan DG; Dowden M; Viney R, 2018, 'A systematic review of scabies transmission models and data to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of scabies interventions', PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 13, pp. e0007182, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007182

McAullay D; McAuley K; Bailie R; Mathews V; Jacoby P; Gardner K; Sibthorpe B; Strobel N; Edmond K, 2018, 'Sustained participation in annual continuous quality improvement activities improves quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, vol. 54, pp. 132 - 140, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpc.13673

Yu S; Van Gool K; edwards K; Kirby S; Gardner K; Robinson L; Linehan T; Harris M; Hall J, 2017, 'The business of integrated care: implementing new models of care in a fee-for-service setting.', International Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 26, pp. 16 - 28, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JICA-08-2017-0026

Gardner K; Shibasaki S; Sibthorpe B, 2016, 'Crafting health messages with knowledge translation to provoke interest, raise awareness, inspire change, impart knowledge and transform practice', Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 4, pp. E115 - E115, http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.5987

Gardner K; Powell Davies G; Edwards K; McDonald J; Findlay T; Kearns R; Joshi C; Harris MF, 2016, 'A rapid review of the impact of commissioning on service use, quality, outcomes and value for money: implications for Australian policy', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 22, pp. 40 - 49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY15148

Gardner KG; Sibthorpe B, 2015, 'Sibthorpe B, Gardner K, McAullay D Furthering the quality agenda in Aboriginal community controlled health services: understanding the relationship between accreditation and continuous quality improvement', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 22, pp. 270 - 275, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY15139

Gardner KG, 2015, 'Useability of patient experience surveys in Australian primary healthcare: A scoping review', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 22, pp. 93 - 99, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY14179

Gardner K; Banfield M; McRae I; Gillespie J; Yen L, 2014, 'Improving coordination through information continuity: A framework for translational research', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-014-0590-5

Brusse C; Gardner K; McAullay D; Dowden M, 2014, 'Social media and mobile apps for health promotion in Australian indigenous populations: Scoping review', Journal of Medical Internet Research, vol. 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.3614

Jowsey T; Ward NJ; Gardner K, 2013, 'Agents in time: Representations of chronic illness', Health Sociology Review, vol. 22, pp. 243 - 254, http://dx.doi.org/10.5172/hesr.2013.22.3.243

Panaretto KS; Gardner KL; Button S; Carson A; Leon D; Schibasaki R; Wason G; Baker D; Mein J; Dellit A; Wenitong M; Lewis D; Ring I, 2013, 'Erratum: Prevention and management of chronic disease in Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Services in Queensland: A quality improvement study assessing change in selected clinical performance indicators over time in a cohort of services (BMJ Open (2013) 3 (e002083))', BMJ Open, vol. 3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002083corr1

Panaretto KS; Gardner KL; Button S; Carson A; Schibasaki R; Wason G; Baker D; Mein J; Dellit A; Lewis D; Wenitong M; Ring I, 2013, 'Prevention and management of chronic disease in Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Services in Queensland: A quality improvement study assessing change in selected clinical performance indicators over time in a cohort of services', BMJ Open, vol. 3, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002083

Banfield M; Gardner K; McRae I; Gillespie J; Wells R; Yen L, 2013, 'Unlocking information for coordination of care in Australia: A qualitative study of information continuity in four primary health care models', BMC Family Practice, vol. 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-14-34

Gardner K; Yen L; Banfield M; Gillespie J; Mcrae I; Wells R, 2013, 'From coordinated care trials to medicare locals: What difference does changing the policy driver from efficiency to quality make for coordinating care?', International Journal for Quality in Health Care, vol. 25, pp. 50 - 57, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzs069

Banfield MA; Gardner KL; Yen LE; McRae IS; Gillespie JA; Wells RW, 2012, 'Coordination of care in Australian mental health policy', Australian Health Review, vol. 36, pp. 153 - 157, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH11049

Gardner K; Bailie R; Si D; O'Donoghue L; Kennedy C; Liddle H; Cox R; Kwedza R; Fittock M; Hains J; Dowden M; Connors C; Burke H; Beaver C, 2011, 'Reorienting primary health care for addressing chronic conditions in remote Australia and the South Pacific: Review of evidence and lessons from an innovative quality improvement process', Australian Journal of Rural Health, vol. 19, pp. 111 - 117, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1584.2010.01181.x

Bailie R; Si D; Shannon C; Semmens J; Rowley K; Scrimgeour DJ; Nagel T; Anderson I; Connors C; Weeramanthri T; Thompson S; McDermott R; Burke H; Moore E; Leon D; Weston R; Grogan H; Stanley A; Gardner K, 2010, 'Study protocol: National research partnership to improve primary health care performance and outcomes for Indigenous peoples', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-129

Gardner KL; Dowden M; Togni S; Bailie R, 2010, 'Understanding uptake of continuous quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care: Lessons from a multi-site case study of the Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease project', Implementation Science, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-5-21

McRae IS; Butler JRG; Sibthorpe BM; Ruscoe W; Snow J; Rubiano D; Gardner KL, 2008, 'A cost effectiveness study of integrated care in health services delivery: A diabetes program in Australia', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-8-205

Bailie R; Si D; Connors C; Weeramanthri T; Clark L; Dowden M; O'Donohue L; Condon J; Thompson S; Clelland N; Nagel T; Gardner K; Brown A, 2008, 'Study protocol: Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) project', BMC Health Services Research, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-8-184

Gardner KL; Sibthorpe B; Longstaff D, 2008, 'National quality and performance system for divisions of general practice: Early reflections on a system under development', Australia and New Zealand Health Policy, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-8462-5-8

Bailie R; Sibthorpe B; Gardner K; Si D, 2008, 'Quality improvement in indigenous primary health care: History, current initiatives and future directions', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 14, pp. 53 - 57, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY08022

Sibthorpe B; Gardner K, 2007, 'A conceptual framework for performance assessment in primary health care', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 13, pp. 96 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PY07027

Gardner K; Sibthorpe B, 2002, 'Impediments to change in an Australian trial of coordinated care', Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol. 7, pp. 2 - 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1258/135581902320176403

Sibthorpe B; Drinkwater J; Gardner K; Bammer G, 1995, 'Drug use, binge drinking and attempted suicide among homeless and potentially homeless youth', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 29, pp. 248 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048679509075917

Sibthorpe B; Drinkwater J; Gardner K; Bammer G, 1995, 'Drug use, binge drinking and attempted suicide among homeless and potentially homeless youth', Australasian Psychiatry, vol. 29, pp. 248 - 256, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048679509075917

Raphiphatthana B; Maulana H; Howarth T; Gardner K; Nagel T, 'Digital Mental Health Resources for Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Immigrants: Protocol for a Scoping Review (Preprint)', , http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/preprints.19031