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Research & Learning

Research Projects

Our research activity is growing all the time, with a focus on delivering the highest quality of patient care to the Central Coast community and extending the treatment options we are able to provide.

Here are some examples of the research that occurs throughout our health services.

Improving support for babies with breathing difficulties.

The CCLHD has taken a lead role in the HUNTER Trial, which attracted a $1.2 million Federal Government grant to determine the effectiveness of a new device to support babies born with breathing difficulties. So far, 650 babies have been enrolled in the study across multiple sites in NSW and Victoria – including Gosford Hospital’s Special Care Nursery.

The clinical trial aims to determine whether Hi-Flow nasal cannulae is as effective as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in preventing babies from being transferred to an intensive care unit. It is the only study in the world to examine the benefits of Hi-Flow in a non-intensive care setting, with the results set to have implications for what we do at Gosford Hospital in the future, as well as for smaller nurseries nationwide and potentially third world countries.

For more information on this project please phone the District’s Research Office on 02 4320 2085.

Tackling childhood overweight and obesity.

In an effort to help address the issue of overweight and obesity in high school students, the District piloted a project in 2016 called Thirsty? Choose water! The aim was to deliver messages to Year 7 students about choosing water in place of sugary drinks. This occurred during the 15 minute waiting period after being immunised at school. Through exposure to games, reading material and a dedicated website, students reported increased knowledge and awareness about sugary drinks, and showed some changes to their drinking patterns.

A research grant will allow the District to build on this project and establish:

  • the effectiveness of the behavioural intervention
  • whether the provision of chilled water stations increases water consumption.
  • whether Year 7 students’ knowledge and attitudes change, and/or their consumption of sugary drinks decreases.

For more information on this project please phone the District’s Health Promotions team on 02 4320 9805.

Pharmacists help to reduce falls among older people.

Fall-related injuries among older people cause substantial health decline and cost the health system more than any other single injury cause, including road trauma. In an effort to help reduce falls among older people in the community, the District has offered fall prevention training to Central Coast pharmacists. The aim was to assist them in implementing fall prevention plans in their pharmacies, which are frequented by a large number of older people. Some 36% of Central Coast pharmacies participated in the training, with almost 70% implementing a falls prevention plan and over 60% modifying pharmacy procedures, including identifying high risk fall clients, within three months of the training. Following the success of the program, the District has replicated the model with local podiatrists.

For more information on this project please phone the District’s Health Promotions team on 02 4320 9720.

Active ageing on the Central Coast. 

Physical activity can help protect against chronic disease and improve well-being in adults aged 65 and over. These benefits can in turn reduce the demands on health and aged care services. The District is collaborating with the University of Newcastle to lead the Retirement Health and Lifestyle Study (RHLS), investigating how the neighbourhoods of older people living independently on the Central Coast influence their health and wellbeing, including how physically active they are.

Recent findings from the RHLS show adults living in retirement villages – typically regarded as pleasant ‘walkable’ environments – do not walk outdoors more than residents living in the community. The results will help inform District health promotion activities and health service planning.

For more information on the RHLS contact the Public Health Unit on 02 4320 9730.

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