Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN)

Research Overview

RHAN is a health workforce initiative which partners directly with rural health organisations to:

  1. Build innovation in rural health care,
  2. Promote research translation into rural clinical practice ,
  3. Support rural health student placements
  4. Enhance retention of existing rural clinicians through post graduate research and education opportunities.
  5. Maintain and progress an evidence base which advances the rural health agenda.

Through a network of rural health academics placed in the local health services, RHAN coordinators work with clinicians from multiple disciplines by applying systematic enquiry and education to facilitate local clinical research in addition to collaborative network wide research. RHAN coordinators work closely with their respective health services in applying structures for ethical governance of research activity that embeds an evidenced based approach into practice. Through RHAN, rural health care practitioners have the support of the University and the University has direct links to the health services and the community.

RHAN projects and publications reflect the diversity of rural health and the individual clinical research and workforce priorities of our partner organisations.


Jennifer Weller-Newton, Director, Rural Health Academic Network

Kaye Ervin, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, NCN Health – Cobram Campus

Nicole McGill, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, Echuca Regional Health

Carol Reid, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, NCN Health – Numurkah Campus

Rowan O'Hagan, Rural Health Academic Network Coordinator, Northeast Health Wangaratta


Northeast Health Wangaratta

NCN Health

Echuca Regional Health

Albury Wodonga Health


This program has been supported by

The Australian Government Department of Health's Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program

Research Outcomes

In addition to the selected research publications listed which reflect recent output from the RHAN program, the following project reports are available upon request.

Surviving Cancer: Evaluation of a Model of Care to Improve Outcomes of Cancer Survivors in the Hume Region. Ervin, K. & Koschel, A. September 2016.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of supportive care screening in rural ambulatory cancer care at Echuca Regional Health. Opie, C., Koschel, A., Ervin, K., Jeffreson, L.  Haines, H., June 2016.

Activities in the Park evaluation Report to Greater City of Shepparton Council. Ervin, K. & Koschel, A. June 2016

Emotional Health of Mothers and Fathers in a Northern Victorian Cohort. Haines HM. 01 Jul 2015. 1-41 (Report to NBVLL).

Regional Emergency Department Telehealth Support to Urgent Care Centres After Hours in Northeast Victoria, Australia. Haines HM, Dattakumar A, Kealey J, Gray K 30 Aug 2015. 1-235

Gerontology Nurse Practitioner at Iloura, Final Project Report, Victorian Department of Health, Quality Branch. Haines HM. July 2011.

Research Publications

Womens Health

Pallant, JF, Haines, HM, Green, P,Toohill, J,Gamble, J,Creedy, D,Fenwick, J.Assessment of the dimensionality of the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire using factor analysis and Rasch analysis.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2016 (accepted).

Haines HM, Baker J, Marshall D. Continuity of midwifery care for rural women through caseload group practice: Delivering for almost 20 years. Australian Journal of Rural Health 2015; 23(6):339-345.

Haines HM, Pallant JF, Fenwick J, et al. Identifying women who are afraid of giving birth: A comparison of the fear of birth scale with the WDEQ-A in a large Australian cohort. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare 2015;6(4):204-210.

Haines HM, Rubertsson C, Pallant JF, Hildingsson I. The influence of women’s fear, attitudes and beliefs of childbirth on mode and experience of birth. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2012; 12(1):55-68. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-55.

Haines HM, Hildingsson I, Pallant JF, Rubertsson C. The Role of Women's Attitudinal Profiles in Satisfaction with the Quality of their Antenatal and Intrapartum Care. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 2013:;42(4):428-441.

Sjöström K, Welander S, Haines H, Andersson E, Hildingsson I. Comparison of breastfeeding in rural areas of Sweden and Australia – a cohort study. Women and Birth 2013;26:229-234.

Hildingsson IA, Haines HM, Cross MA, Pallant JA, Rubertsson CA. Womens satisfaction with antenatal care: Comparing women in Sweden and Australia. Women and Birth 2013:e9-e14.

Haines H, Rubertsson C, Pallant JF, Hildingsson I. Womens' attitudes and beliefs of childbirth and association with birth preference: A comparison of a Swedish and an Australian sample in mid-pregnancy. Midwifery 2012;28:e850-e856.

Haines HM, Pallant JA, Karlström AA, Hildingsson IA. Cross-cultural comparison of levels of childbirth-related fear in an Australian and Swedish sample. Midwifery 2011; 27 (4): 560-7.

Rural Health Workforce

Ervin K, Blackberry I, Haines HM. Implementation of Shared Decision-Making in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management 2016; 11(2): 10-11.

Nielsen, G, Currie, F, Ervin, K, Koschel, A. Utilizing Research to Facilitate Organizational Change. Research in Health Science 2016; 1 (1):51-57.

Currie F, Nielsen, G, Ervin K, Koschel A. The Value of Rural Isolated Practice Endorsed Registered Nurses in a small Rural Health Service. Research in Health Science 2016; 1(1):58-67.

Ervin K, Reid C, Moore S. What do rural dementia caregivers find stressful?Open Journal of Nursing 2015; 5: 370-375.

Ervin K, Moore S. Rural nurses’ perceptions of a volunteer program in an acute setting: Volunteers delivering person-centred care for patients with dementia and delirium. Open Journal of Nursing 2014;4:27-33.

Reid C, Ervin, K. Prevalence of adolescent violence in the home and service system capacity in rural Victoria. Australian Journal of Primary Health 2014;21(2) :132-8

Ervin K, Cross, M., Koschel, A. Barriers to managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia: Staff perceptions. Collegian 2014;21(3):201–207.

Ervin, K. Letter to the Editor: Utilising the Screening Tool to Alert doctors to the Right Treatment with the Screening Tool of Older People's potentially inappropriate Prescriptions.Australasian Journal on Ageing 2014;33(1): 63.

Ervin K, Cross, M, Koschel, A. Staff perceptions of families in rural residential aged care.Journal of Hospital Administration 2013; 2 (1): 59-67.

Ervin, K, Phillips J, TomnayJ. Establishing a clinic for young people in a rural setting: a community initiative to meet the needs of rural adolescents. Australian Journal of Primary Health. 2013; 20:128-33

Ervin K, Jeffery V. Staff perceptions of implementing health coaching as a tool for self-management in chronic disease: A qualitative study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2013;3 (9):132-138.

Ervin K, Cross M, Koschel A. Working together in life story telling for residents in aged care facilities: A qualitative study of staff/family collaboration in aged care.Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 2013; 3 (6):103-110.

Koschel A, Cross M, Haines H, Ervin K, Skinner D, Carbone D. Research and Evidence Based Practice in a rural Victorian cohort. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 2012; 30 (2): 13-18.

Krones R, Radford P, Cunningham C, Krones D, Haines H. Thrombolysis for acute ST elevation myocardial infarction:  A pilot study comparing results from GP led small rural health emergency departments with results from a physician led sub-regional emergency department. Rural & Remote Health 2012; 12:2-8.

Ervin K, Finlayson S, Tan E. Case management the panacea for aged care?Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 2012: 30 (1): 5-7.

Burge D, Haines H, Murray M, Kent W, Voogt, S. How nurses, geriatricians, researchers &Administrators designed a model of care for rural gerontology nurse practitioners: The Wangaratta experience. Australasian Journal on Ageing 2010; 29 Issue Supplement 2:5.

Burge D, Kent W, Verdon J, Voogt S, Haines H. Nurse Practitioners are well placed to lead in the effective management of delirium. AJAN 2010; 28(1):67-73.

Haines H, Critchley J. Developing the Nurse Practitioner role in a Rural Australian Hospital - A Delphi study of practice opportunities, barriers and enablers. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 2009; 27 (1):30-36.

Chronic ill Health

Haines HM, Bannon-Murphy H, Amos T, Krones R. Prevalence and management of diabetes in residential aged care facilities in Northeast Victoria, Australia. Australian Family Physician 2016 In press.

Ervin, K, Pallant J, Terry D , Bourke L, Pierce D, Glennister K. A Descriptive Study of Health, Lifestyle and Sociodemographic Characteristics and their Relationship to Known Dementia Risk Factors in Rural Victorian Communities. AIMS Medical Science 2015;2(3):246-60.

Ervin K, Koschel, A, Campi S. Self  -Management Support (SMS) from a Chronic Disease Worker in a Rural Primary Health Service, a Pilot Study.Primary Health Care: Open Access 2015; 5(3).

Ervin K, Koschel, Campi S. Evaluation of Preventative Screening for Chronic Disease in a Rural Primary Health Service. Primary Health Care: Open Access 2015; 5(2).

Ervin K, Jeffrey V. Do peer leaders in the workplace improve implementation of self management support training?Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management 2015;  10(2): 52-57.

Ervin K, Reid C. Service utilisation by carers of people with dementia in rural Victoria. Australasian Journal on Ageing 2015;34 (4):e1-e6.

Ervin K, Reid C, Moore S. What do rural dementia caregivers find stressful?Open Journal of Nursing 2015; 5:370-375.

Ervin K, Pallant J, Reid C. Caregiver distress in dementia in rural Victoria.  Australasian Journal on Ageing 2015; 34 (4):235-240.

Ervin K, Dalle Nogare, N, Orr J, Soutter E, Spiller R. Fruit and vegetable consumption in rural Victorian school children. Journal of Primary Health Care -Open Access 2015;5(2)doi:10.4172/2167-1079.1000199.

Jeffery V, Ervin K. Early Intervention in Chronic Disease-Four Years On. Barriers to Implementing Self-Management Strategies.Journal of Allied Health 2014; 43(1): 1-3.

Spiller R, Orr J, Mills H, Ervin K.Measurement of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Research Informing PracticeHealth Care 2014; 2(2):41-46 DOI: 10.12966/hc.05.05.2014

Ervin K, Cross M, Koschel, A. Reducing the use of antipsychotics in dementia care through staff education and family participation. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice2012;3(6):70-83.

Ervin K, Jeffery, V, Koschel A. Evaluating the implementation of health coaching in a rural setting. Journal of Hospital Administration 2012;1 (2):17-26.

Nagao KJ, Koschel A, Haines HM, Bolitho LE, Yan B. 2011. The Rural Victorian Telestroke Project. Intern Medicine Journal 2012; 42(10):1088-95.doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02603.x.

Ervin K, Cross M, Finlayson S. The management of behavioural problems associated with dementia in rural aged care. Collegian 2012; 19:85-95.

Bolitho, L, Yan, B, McLean, R, Macleish, P, Baisch, A, Krones, R, Veth, V, Haines, H, Koschel, A, Goldberg, A, Footitt, F, Davis, S, Hand, P, Yerra, R, Campbell, B, Tu, H, Nagao, J. Thrombolysis via a mobile telestroke system in rural Victoria: A pilot study. Internal Medicine Journal 2011; 41:3, Supplement: 2.

Research Projects

School Research Themes

Women's Health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Director,
Rural Health Academic Network A/Prof Jennifer Weller-Newton

Department / Centre

Rural Health

Unit / Centre

Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN)

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