Dr Emma Crawford

Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
emma.crawford@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54526

Overview

Dr Emma Crawford is an occupational therapist and researcher whose work centres on promoting wellbeing for infants, children, families and communities. Emma's primary focus is on cross-cultural projects that link with community organisations to create social change and reduce the impacts of disadvantage by supporting health enhancing environments and activities in early life. At the centre of Emma's work is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 - ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing across all ages. Currently, Emma is leading several projects:

1) The BABI Project (research): refugee and asylum seeker families' expereinces during the perinatal period (systematic review, qualitative focus group and interview research)

2) The Uni-Friends program (student delivered service and student placement) - a social-emotional helth promotion program that draws on cultural responsiveness (The Making Connecitons Framework) and community development principles in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled School

3) LUCIE-NDC (research) - mothers' experiences of accessing Neuroprotective-Developmental Care in the first 12 months of their infants' lives

Emma has a strong interest in understanding human experiences, community-driven initiatives, and strengths-based, innovative, evidence based, complex approaches to wellbeing that consider individuals and systems She also carries out research regarding allied health student placements in culturally diverse settings including low-middle income countries and Indigenous contexts. She works as a Lecturer at the University of Queensland, Australia after having worked in a range of occupational therapy roles including with children with autism, with asylum seekers, with Indigenous Australians with chronic disease, and completing her PhD in Political Science and International Studies in 2015.

Research Interests

  • Partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations
    Emma carries out research (qualitative and quantitative) with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and the Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School (The Murri School).
  • Infant and Caregiver Care
    Emma is engaged research regarding responsive infant care, caregiver/maternal and infant occupations and infant and caregiver health and mental wellbeing. She has a particular interest in Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC), (focusing on unsettled infant behaviour, infant health, mothers' mental health, breastfeeding and bottle feeding, infant everyday sensory experiences, and infant and mother sleep). Her research also focuses on infant and caregiver occupations and co-occupations including sleep, feeding, regulation, interaction and play, social activities, family routines, and community engagement.
  • Human Rights and Occupational Therapy
    Emma conducts research in both occupational therapy (OT) human rights practice and OT education regarding human rights.
  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
    Emma's research with asylum seekers considers the effects of citizenship and policy structures on asylum seekers every-day life experiences. She also conducts research regarding occupational therapy services provided to children seeking asylum in Australia. This research is qualitative. Her previous research with refugees focused on home safety for newly arrived refugees in Australia. Emma is currently carrying out early-stage research regarding the experiences and service needs for refugee and asylum seeker families during pregnancy and the early years (the perinatal period) with the view to engaging in service co-design and evaluative research.

Research Impacts

Community organisation partnerships: translation of research and university teaching into practice through student-run projects in partnership with community organizations (the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Independent School, and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health).

Not-for-profit organisation partnerships: translational research partnership with the Possums Clinic in order to evaluate service delivery, use research for quality assurance purposes, publish implementation science research, and develop evidence based resources for practice.

Government organisation partnerships: partnering with the The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service) to evaluate cultural responsiveness in the Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) Department. Implementation and evaluation of training regarding cultural responsiveness is currently being delivered for SLP staff and interpreters to improve service delivery for culturally and linguistically diverese clients.

Mentoring for and delivery of an occupational therapy program for children in detention (OT KiDS) - stemming from research findings, teaching, and networks developed through research projects (2012-2016)

Leading an evaluation project contributing to the Australian Human Rights Commission's National Inquiry into Children in Detention (2014).

Research with asylum seekers may be useful for informing future evidence based policy.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Occupational Therapy Studies, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • This project would entail co-design of research methods to understand service needs and/or outcomes. Potential students should have an interest in research co-design, intercultural research and health service practice, and be oriented towards occupational engagement, mental health, and/or wellbeing. The project focus would be determined by the student in partnership with a community organisation. Emma can faciliate connections with a number community organisations who may be interested in partnering - the student would discuss possible resarch and establish a shared research goal with a partner organisation.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Aplin, Tammy, Crawford, Emma and De Jonge, Desleigh (2021). Fundamentals of occupational therapy: understanding the environment. Occupational therapy in Australia: professional and practice issues. (pp. 229-243) edited by Ted Brown, Helen M. Bourke-Taylor, Stephen Isbel, Reinie Cordier and Louise Gustafsson. Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This project would entail co-design of research methods to understand service needs and/or outcomes. Potential students should have an interest in research co-design, intercultural research and health service practice, and be oriented towards occupational engagement, mental health, and/or wellbeing. The project focus would be determined by the student in partnership with a community organisation. Emma can faciliate connections with a number community organisations who may be interested in partnering - the student would discuss possible resarch and establish a shared research goal with a partner organisation.