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Personal profile

Research Biography

Caring Futures Institute - Better Lives

Research Fellow

Dr Hunter is as a Research Fellow in the Healthy Start to Life team within the Caring Futures Institute. In this role, Sarah co-ordinates and leads the research aligned to the Public Health Partner Authority agreement between Wellbeing SA and the Caring Futures Institute. In this role, she applies her knowledge translation and implementation skills to shape an evidence-informed Early Years System in South Australia that engages and supports parents and caregivers for improved child health, development, and wellbeing.

Sarah Hunter completed a PhD in Psychology in 2018 and his since developed strong programs of knowledge translation and family and caregiver research.

Sarah has an active and sustained track-record, with year-on-year increases in research performance demonstrating an upward research trajectory. As of September 2022, Sarah has received 361 citations, with a h-index of 9 Google Scholar.

It is critical that parents and caregivers receive evidence-based support to ensure not only their own health and wellbeing, but that of their children and broader family. Sarah's research focuses on understanding the complex and diverse ways in which caregivers enact child rearing, the challenges they face, and the support they need to overcome them. Through an integrated Knowledge Translation approach, her research develops, in partnership with caregivers, practical and feasible strategies that can be implemented to support Australian adults in their caregiving role. Specifically, her research is centered around three distinct but overlapping programs of work 1) theorisations of families and caregiving, and 2) knowledge translation and implementation science.

Mobilising Implementation of i-PARIHS (Mi-PARIHS)

Sarah leads the development of practical and pragmatic resources to accompany the i-PARIHS framework. The integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) Framework a conceptual framework that aims to represent the dynamic interplay of factors that influence successful implementation of evidence into practice.

To find out more visit: https://www.flinders.edu.au/caring-futures-institute/do/mi-parihs

Research Interests

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Families
  • Parenting gender and social norms
  • Men's health
  • Knowledge translation
  • Facilitation
  • Implementation science
  • Qualitative research
  • Discourse and conversation analysis

Research Expertise

Sarah successfully and independently leads an original program of research on better understanding caregivers to inform health and social services with the knowledge to support them in their own, and their families, health, and wellbeing. Since commencing at Flinders University, her research has broadened from a specific focus on theorisations of fathering to now reflect the broader role of caregivers and caregiving and the intersections with the health, education, and social care systems through an integrated knowledge translation lens. This has led to an increase in strong research focused on caregiving at Flinders University.

Sarah prioritises partnering and collaborating with industry partners and end users to ensure practical and immediate impact to the community. All of her projects have an organisation or community group as an active partner. Since commencing at Flinders University, Sarah has partnered with seven different organisations. Specifically, she has partnered with three metropolitan hospitals (Royal Adelaide Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre, Noarlunga Hospital) within South Australia to provide her expert advice and support on translating research into practice to improve patient outcomes. These sustained partnerships have created increased opportunities for Flinders researchers to collaborate and partner with clinicians and health services. It has also developed the research capacity of clinicians within South Australia.

Sarah's expertise in implementation and translation research and focus on developing the capacity of clinicians is further evidenced in the training she provides. On behalf of Flinders University, she was invited in 2020 to provide a one-day training to remote and rural clinicians hosted by the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs. In addition, in 2020 she provided training to leadership staff and heads of units at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Both training workshops were informed by her research and focused on capacity building clinicians to translate evidence-based innovations into their healthcare practice. Sarah was also responsible for coordinating and managing a Knowledge Translation short course at Flinders University in 2018.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The University of Adelaide

Jan 2014Nov 2017

Award Date: 8 Jan 2018

Bachelor (Honours), The University of Adelaide

Jan 2013Dec 2013

Bachelor, The University of Adelaide

Jun 2009Dec 2012

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