Karen is Senior Research Fellow 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. 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. Her research draws on sociological...view more
Karen is Senior Research Fellow 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. 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. Her research draws on sociological and evaluation theories to investigate policy and program implementation in complex real world settings. Much of her work has been in conducted in partnership with Aboriginal community controlled health services. She has led large scale program evaluations, specialising in applying evaluation theory and qualitative approaches in mixed method designs; projects exploring the process and impacts of co-designed social support programs; and the implementation and use of data in continuous quality improvement and primary care performance measurement programs. Karen has been a consultant to the Australian, ACT and NSW governments. She has more than 100 working papers, technical reports and peer reviewed publications and has published in the Mandarin and the Guardian.
Current research projects include:
- Gardner K, Glennie M, Campbell T. Final Evaluation, One Disease Project: Elimination of Crusted Scabies in Remote Communities in the NT
- Gardner K, Trueman J, Marsh S, Baldock E, Glennie M. Planned homebirth in the ACT: an archival study1976-2001
- Olney, S., Gardner, K, Carey, G, Hanrahan P. Data Governance and the NDIS. Disability Innovation Institute Grant. UNSW.
- Ward J, Lovett R, Gardner K, Nelson C, Coombe L, Brown R, Turner L, Butler D, Clifford A, Mathews S. Transforming access, relational care, and primary health care in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population through patient-centred medical homes: a prospective observational cohort study using mixed methods. MRFF Primary Health Care Research Grant, APP1200868
- Ingles J, Semsarian J, Yeates L, Gardner K, Adlard L, Aynsley B. A web-based intervention to support families following sudden cardiac death in the young. Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health
My Research Activities
Current research activities include leading a mixed method before and after evaluation of a systems based intervention for the elimination of crusted scabies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Territory; investigation of the impact and co-design of an online intervention to support families following sudden cardiac death in the young and is an investigator on an MRFF funded grant examining the impact of relational based care in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health services in Queensland.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am interested in supervising Phd students in the following areas: Theory driven evaluation including the application of qualitative methods in mixed method program evaluations. Implementation of primary care programs and reforms, including performance management and continuous quality improvement programs and methods
- Tanya Massy, PhD Candidate. Transformative Evaluation Methods, UNSW
- Misha Kaur, Professional Doctorate Candidate. Complex systems for service redesign, UNSW
- Nastaran Tui. PhD Candidate. Use of antibiotics in a developing country, UNSW
- 2019-2021 Member, Health Care Homes Evaluation and Data Working Group, Australian Department of Health.
- Member, Research Advisory Group, Institute of Urban Indigenous Health.
- Topic editor, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health