PROACT Research Group

PROACT Research Group: Promoting Responsive and Optimal Approaches for Collaborative Team-Based Care in the Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions (PROACT)

PROACT brings together a multi-disciplinary team of leading primary care researchers with an established program of research that investigates innovative models of multidisciplinary team-based primary care.  The team have the skills and experience in both developing and evaluating the implementation of multi-disciplinary team-based primary care.

A key principle of the Chronic Care Model1 is a shift from a reactive health system to a proactive health system that prevents and proactively manages chronic health problems in partnership with informed, activated patients.  This underpins the work of the PROACT team.

  1. Wagner E, Austin B, Von Korff M. Organizing care for patients with chronic illness. Millbank Q 1996(74):511-544.

Research Co-Leads

Professor Liz Halcomb - RN BN(Hons) PhD FACN
Professor of Primary Health Care Nursing, University of Wollongong

Professor Sarah Dennis - Grad Assoc Physiotherapy MSc Physiology PhD
Professor of Allied Health, University of Sydney 

Professor Nick Zwar - MBBS MPH PhD FRACGP
Executive Dean - Health Sciences & Medicine, Bond University

Research projects

Doctor of Philosophy:

  • Thesis title: Social isolation and older people in the community
    Supervision Panel: Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Malcom Masso, Amy Montgomery

  • Thesis title: Impress: An RCT of a nurse-led hypertension intervention in Australian general practice
    Supervision Panel: Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Professor Nick Zwar, Dr Marijka Batterham
    Funded by: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship 2017-2019

  • Thesis title: ePREVENT primary care digital previsit assessment
    Supervision Panel: Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Professor Andrew Bonney

  • Thesis title: Men’s health in primary care
    Supervision Panel: Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Christopher Patterson

  • Thesis title: Implementing pulmonary rehabilitation within primary care
    Supervision Panel: Professor Sarah Dennis, Jennifer Alison, Zoe McKeough

  • Thesis title: Investigating access to physiotherapy by Australians with Parkinson’s disease. 
    Supervision Panel: Serene Paul, Natalie Allen, Professor Sarah Dennis

2024-28: MRFF Primary Health Care Research Grant (APP2032002 $1,629,440.51)

Chief Investigators: Professor Sarah Dennis, Professor Nick Zwar, Associate Professor Zoe McKeough, Professor Jennifer Alison, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Michelle Cunich, Professor Sanjyot Vagholkar, Associate Professor Claudia Dobler, Dr Serene Paul, Dr Lisa Pagano, Mr David Meharg, Dr Sameera Ansari

Project Title: A primary care multi-disciplinary team care approach, including pulmonary rehabilitation, to improve uptake and outcomes of comprehensive evidence-based care for COPD (MDT-PuRe-Primary Care).

2024-27: MRFF Chronic Respiratory Conditions Grant (APP2031227 $1,988,115.40)

Chief Investigators: Dr Sameera Ansari, Professor John Hurst, Professor Helen Reddel, Professor Nick Zwar, Professor Sarah Dennis, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Mouna Sawan, Associate Professor Joel Rhee, Associate Professor Rohina Joshi, Associate Professor Hassan Hosseinzadeh, Professor Marijka Batterham, Dr Varinder Jeet

Project Title: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial to Digitally Support Self-Management for Inhaler Device Technique and Medication Adherence among People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Comorbidities - The PRISIMA-PECO Trial

2024-28: NHMRC Synergy Grant (APP2027469 $5,150,000)

Chief Investigators: Professor Alta Schutte, Professor Anthony Rodgers, Dr Carissa Bonner, Professor Markus Schlaich, Dr Sonali Gnanenthiran, Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe, Dr Emily Atkins, Associate Professor Danijela Gnjidic, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Professor Nigel Stocks

Associate Investigators: Ms Niamh Chapman, Professor Clara Chow, Professor Andrew McLachlan, Professor Nick Zwar, Professor Mark Nelson, Professor David Peris, Professor Ross Tsuyuki, Professor Stephen Jan, Mr David Lloyd, Belinda Bennett

Project Title:  Solving Australia's Hypertension Treatment Problem

2023-26: Cardiovascular Research Capacity Program Collaborative Grant ($ 981,275)

Chief Investigators: Professor Alta Schutte, Professor Bruce Neal, Professor Markus Schlaich, Professor Clara Chow, Professor David Peris, Dr Sonali Gnanenthiran, Dr Ellie Paige, Dr Liliana Laranjo, Professor Garry Jennings, Professor Anthony Rodgers

Associate Investigators:Associate Professor Charlotte Hespe, Professor Tim Usherwood, Professor James Sharman, Associate Professor Ruth Webster, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Carissa Bonner, Ms Rebecca Davies, Dr Bradley Hastings, Dr Revathy Carnagarin, Dr Amanda Buttery

Project Title:  An integrated, multidisciplinary approach to optimising blood pressure control

2022-25: Medical Research Futures Fund Primary Health Care Research (APP2016058 $1,093,405)

Chief Investigators: Professor Nick Zwar, Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Professor Katharine Wallis, Professor Glenden Maberly, Dr Kristy Fakes, Dr Kean-Seng Lim, Professor Christopher Doran, Dr Christopher Oldmeadow, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

Project Title: Wearables integrated technology to support healthy behaviours in people with type 2 diabetes (Wear-IT)

2021-25: Medical Research Futures Fund Primary Health Care Research (APP2006432 $977,628.15)

Chief Investigators: Professor Nick Zwar, Professor Ian Yang, Professor Helen Reddel, Professor Elizabeth Halcomb, Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh, Dr Sameera Ansari, Professor Marijka Batterham, Professor Glenn Salkeld

Project Title: Activating primary care COPD patients with Multi-morbidity (APCOM) study