Researcher

Associate Professor Holly Seale

My Expertise

Public and professional perceptions and behaviours regarding infectious diseases, particularly vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and disease prevention, such as immunisation. Published studies have concerned communicable disease surveillance, clinical trial outcomes, risk communication, immunisation coverage in professional and at-risk groups, and the evaluation of education tools using qualitative and quantitative methods.

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Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Research Interests:

Associate Professor Holly Seale is an infectious disease social scientist at the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She has over 15 years of experience in undertaking social science research focused on improving confidence and engagement of different at-risk groups with immunisation and other prevention strategies. 

The social science and behavioural research that she leads...view more

Research Interests:

Associate Professor Holly Seale is an infectious disease social scientist at the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She has over 15 years of experience in undertaking social science research focused on improving confidence and engagement of different at-risk groups with immunisation and other prevention strategies. 

The social science and behavioural research that she leads focuses on promoting acceptance and uptake of immunisation while applying a “whole-of-life” lens. It incorporates innovative research focused on groups that traditionally have received less attention and continue to have suboptimal uptake: children and adults with chronic medical conditions, culturally and linguistically diverse communities (focus on both migrants and refugees) and occupational groups including hospital healthcare providers. This research has included case study analysis, policy and programs reviews, community and stakeholder interviews, resource analysis, provider surveys, sero-studies, epidemiology- based studies and more. She works closely with local and state health departments to lobby for improved opportunities for vaccination, as well as to improve communication/promotion packages.

She also uses social science to drive quality and safety improvements in the healthcare sector, domestically and internationally including in China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Over a 12-year period, she has mapped the climate around staff vaccination programs and mandates, as well as the system factors impacting program delivery from the perspective of the individual staff member, the agents involved with delivering programs and those in positions of authority. She has undertaken research to support the use of masks and respirators including around the use of cloth masks during pandemic and non-pandemic periods. Lastly, she also works to address issues impacting on patient and family engagement with infection prevention and control strategies across Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and South Korea. Within this program, she explores the patient, provider and system factors that influence engagement and acceptance of infection prevention strategies and formulates and develop approaches/interventions to improve acceptance and compliance. Most recently, she has expanded this work to include a focus on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship.

 

 

 

 

 


My Grants

Research Income

Title:

Enhancing safety and care quality for culturally and linguistically diverse cancer consumers: A consumer engagement approach

Chief investigators:

Harrison, R; Walton, M; Manias, E; Wilson, C; Seale, H; Chin, MT; Girgis, A; Smith, AB; Thit Tieu, N

Source and Scheme:

NHMRC Ideas grant

Commencement date:

2020

 

Title:

A randomised controlled trial of mask use in control of respiratory outcomes during bushfire season

Chief investigators:

MacIntyre CR, Seale H, Chughtai A, Shah S.

Source and Scheme:

NHMRC MRFF

Commencement date:

2020

 

Title:

Co-designing patient engagement strategies to enhance safety in cancer services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients.

Chief investigators:

Harrison, R; Walton, M; Manias, E, Seale, H; Chin, MT; Wilson, C;

Source and Scheme:

Cancer Australia: Supporting People with Cancer

Commencement date:

2019

 

Title:

Engaging Patients in infection control: updating the communication strategy

Chief investigators:

Seale H, Clezy K, Torda A.

Source and Scheme:

Prince of Wales Foundation (Funding received in 2018 and 2019 rounds)

Commencement date:

2018

 

Title:

A practical approach to travel immunisation in general practice with a focus on visiting friends and relatives for refugee and migrant populations

Chief investigators:

Mahimbo A, Heywood A, Seale H.

Source and Scheme:

Industry funding: GSK Education grant

Commencement date:

2016

 

Title:

Travel Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices among Australian University Students.

Chief investigators:

Heywood A, Seale H, MacIntyre CR, Rawlinson W, Zwar N, Kefalas B.

Source and Scheme:

Industry funding: Bio-CSL funding

Commencement date:

2015

 

Title:

Empowering patients in the hospital: a new approach to improving patient safety

Chief investigators:

Seale H, Crowe P, MacIntyre CR, Travaglia J, Phillipson L, Gold J.

Source and Scheme:

South Eastern Sydney Local Health Department Infection Control Enhancement Program 2013 (competitive scheme)

Commencement date:

2013

 

Title:

Rotavirus Vaccine Acceptability Study

Chief investigators:

Heywood AE, Seale H, Sitaresmi M, At Thobari J, MacIntyre CR, Sunarto Y

Source and Scheme:

Industry funding: GSK

Commencement date:

2013

 

Title:

Travellers visiting friends and relatives: new approaches to understanding and reducing infectious disease risks

Chief investigators:

MacIntyre CR, Zwar NA, Worth H, Seale H, Heywood AE, Sheikh M, Smith MM

Source and Scheme:

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project

Commencement date:

2012

 

Title:

Applied research in the prevention and control of infections in the hospital setting

Chief investigators:

Seale H

Source and Scheme:

National Health & Medical Research Council / Training Fellowships

Commencement date:

2011

 

Title:

Economic, social and cross-cultural issues in non-pharmaceutical protection of front line responders to pandemic influenza and emerging infections.

Chief investigators:

MacIntyre, CR; McLaws, M; Maher, L; Seale, H; Wood, JG; Newall, A

Source and Scheme:

Australian Research Council: Linkage Project

Commencement date:

2009

 

Title:

Efficacy of face masks against H1N1 swine influenza

Chief investigators:

MacIntyre, CR; Dwyer, DE; Seale, H

Source and Scheme:

National Health & Medical Research Council: TCR - H1N1 Influenza

Commencement date:

2009


My Qualifications

2005-2008

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medicine

The University of Sydney

Title of thesis: The Epidemiology of Severe Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection in Australia

2005-2009

Master of Public Health

The University of Sydney

2011-2014

Graduate Certificate in University Learning & Teaching

The University of New South Wales

2001-2003

Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science),

University of Technology, Sydney


My Awards

Awards

2020

Educator of the Year 2020, Faculty of Medicine

Award for Educational Excellence (Academic), Faculty of Medicine

2019

Higher degree supervisor award, School of Population Health

2017

CAPHIA Team Research Award

2016

Alan Hodgkinson Award for Teaching, School of Population Health

2011

All-rounder award, School of Population Health

2010

The Public Health Education and Research Trust (PHERT) Immunisation Scholarship

Young Investigator of the Year, School of Population Health

Dean’s Rising Star Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales


My Research Activities

Current research projects

1. Supporting impactful communication and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic with culturally and linguistically diverse communities

  • This new project aims to understand the factors that have impacted COVID-19 communication and engagement efforts during this pandemic from the perspective of key CALD community stakeholders and community members. We also aim to understand the processes that could be adopted to support future communication strategies with a focus on supporting the promotion of a future COVID-19 vaccine.

2. Examining new ways to improve immunisation uptake amongst culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals: Identifying new actors to promote acceptance and uptake.

  • The aim of this project is to examine the role that non-traditional actors have on receptiveness of international students from the BizLab sample pool to immunisation messaging.

3. Improving adult immunisation in Australia: exploring the views and practices of adults and key stakeholders towards influenza and pneumococcal immunisation

  • The objectives of this study are to determine the rate of pneumococcal and influenza vaccine uptake for adults aged between 18 years and above along with their attitudes, concerns, health service utilisation and receptiveness towards hospital-based immunisation. In addition, we will examine the views of key stakeholders towards improving opportunistic immunisation in the hospital setting.

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Higher Degree Research Candidates (HDR) such as: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Masters by Research, and Master of Philosophy

Coursework Candidates: ILP, Honors, 6/12/18 UoC projects


Currently supervising

Higher Degree Research Candidates (HDR): PhD, DrPH

Coursework Candidates: 6/12/18 UoC projects


My Engagement

Holly Seale is one of the founding governance members and current Deputy Chair of the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI), a national network of interdisciplinary researchers of vaccination social science and policy/program practitioners. She is also the Research Co-Chair for the Vaccine Acceptance Research Network, an international network initiated by the Sabin Institute.

 


My Teaching

Program Director : Bachelor of International Public Health (3880)

https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/bachelor-international-public-health

 

Course Convenor:

Infectious Disease Challenges: Epidemiology and Control (PHCM9782)  https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/course/phcm9782

Internship Program: Domestic placements (PHCM9143)  https://studentvip.com.au/unsw/subjects/phcm9143

 

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Location

Samuels Building
Room 237
Level 2

Contact

+61 2 9385 3129
02 9313 6185

Research Activities

This research will investigate the contribution to the burden of infectious diseases in Australia from travel by migrant Australians who visit friends and relatives in their country of birth. Currently, little is known about the burden of travel-associated infections or the barriers to preventative pre-travel health practices amongst migrant travellers, particularly in the Australian context. This study will quantify modifiable behaviours, motivations and risk perceptions of migrant Australian travellers. This project will provide the necessary evidence to guide an effective response to…

This study will determine whether mask use by people with influenza-like-illness (ILI) while at home protects other family members from respiratory infections. Interventions that target the sick rather than well have the potential to be better utilised, so this study will provide important data to inform infection control both in hospitals and in the community

This NHMRC CRE in Population Health Research commenced in 2012 and is focused on immunisation for vulnerable or marginalised population subgroups at increased disease risk. These risk groups suffer disproportionate morbidity and mortality, either because of less robust immunity or because of co-morbidities and environmental factors. Research to inform immunisation policy and practice in these groups usually remains beyond the scope of funding from government or industry, and as such is the focus of our CRE.

We are committed to capacity building of future leaders, post-doctoral…

Videos

How can healthcare workers improve vaccine uptake? There is a growing number of research papers and guidance documents to support various interventions. But can those who need them, find these resources so that they can deploy them in a clinical setting? Dr Holly Seale, University of New South Wales, explores ways of enhancing access to evidence-based tools that could help boost immunisation rates.
Health professionals are a key target group for flu vaccination. This protects healthcare workers and their patients. However, uptake remains too low.
Dr Holly Seale, University of New South Wales, Australia, set out to find out why some health workers still do not have the recommended flu vaccine.
Communication & immunisation: finding tools to boost vaccine uptake
Flu vaccination: factors affecting uptake among health workers
Examining the factors associated with influenza vaccination amongst healthcare workers
A scoping review examining the availability of dialogue-based resources
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Calls for cultural and linguistic diversity data to be captured in COVID-19 vaccine rollout