Associate Professor Judith Dean

Principal Research Fellow

UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
j.dean4@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 36426

Overview

Associate Professor Judith Dean, a Registered Nurse/Midwife with over 25-years clinical and research experience in sexual and reproductive health (SRH), HIV and other BBV, is a Principal Research Fellow at the UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

The overall aim of her program of research is to address inequities of access to SRH education and services through innovative models of care and workforce development using mixed methods and longitudinal qualitative community-based participatory approaches. She has a strong background working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, sex workers organisations, gender and sexually diverse young people, and the LGBTQAI+ community.

She is currently working on research evaluating birthing experiences and models of care for First Nation women and the families. She is also currentlyleading projects exploring innovative models of HIV Self-testing dissemination, access to peer-led Molecular point of care STI testing, transgender care, syphilis in pregnancy and access to pregnancy options, abortion and contraception. From 2016 to 2019, she was the co-ordinating investigator on the Queensland PrEP Demonstration Monitoring and Evaluation study. Her other projects and areas of interst include exploring the experiences of newly diagnosed PLHIV including implementation of a Peer Navigation program, access to SRH care for gender and sexually diverse young people and the sexual health literacy of CALD youth in Queensland.

Prior to joining UQ Poche Centre in 2023, she was a research fellow at the School of Public Health (2015-2022) where she also taugh into the Bachelor of Health Science (PUBH3002 Health Policy in Practice, PUBH3010 Global Health and Infectious Diseases) and the Master of Public Health (PUBH7101 Communicable Diseases Management and Control). From 2002 to 2013 Judith held a joint appointment between Griffith University School of Nursing and Midwifery where she held the title of Griffith Graduate Sexual Health Program Convenor and Queensland Health where in her role as State Nurse Educator for Queensland Sexual Health and HIV Services she was responsible for state-wide coordination and development of clinical practice standards, policy and professional development programs for specialist advanced practice nurses working in SRH and HIV. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy in 2014 titled Sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Queensland Sudanese communities.

Judith has extensive educational and clinical expertise in SRH, HIV, women’s health and midwifery in a diverse range of national and international settings. Before moving into SRH and HIV education and research, she worked clinically as a midwife and SRH Nurse in a range of locations in Australia and overseas . This includes over 5 years working in the Northern Territory as a Midwife and remote area nurse along with two years with International Committee of Red Cross in settings such as South Sudan and Afghanistan developing midwifery training programs and models of care for women and their familes experiencing conflict and displacement.

I am available to supervise PhD/MPhil students, Honours and Master of Public Health projects.

Research Interests

  • Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and other BBV
  • Health and the wellbeing of priority populations and people experiencing marginalisation
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and well-being Migrant and refugee health and working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities LGBTIQ+ community Gender and sexually diverse young people,
  • Mixed methods, Qualitative, Community based participatory research
    Focus on social determinants of health
  • Community-based participatory research with embedded co-design approaches
    Judith works closely with community, service providers and her research partners to make sure her research is community driven and translates directly into practice and service development. She advocates strongly for research that addresses health inequalities and facilitate equitable access to appropriate accessible services for all Queenslanders.

Research Impacts

I am a member of a multidisciplinary research team focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative models of sexual and reproductive health and HIV care and prevention. My research is designed in partnership with community to reduce HIV and STI prevalence and addresses health inequalities by facilitating equitable access to appropriate accessible SRH and HIV services for all Queenslanders. I am currently leading projects exploring innovative models of HIV Self-testing dissemination and access to peer-led Molecular POC STI testing that has led to standardisation of these services for infrequent and on-testers. My research into syphilis in pregnancy and access to women-centred termination of pregnancy care is addressing key contemporary areas of policy reform and need. In partnership with a wider range of research and community partners I am also an investigator on projects exploring the experiences of newly diagnosed PLHIV including implementation of a Peer Navigation program and the use of quality improvement indicators to improve access to and uptake of STI testing among urban Indigenous peoples. I have a strong background working with community organisations and key government stakeholders and policy makers to ensure my research is community driven by key partners organisation. My research has had direct service provision and policy impact on the SRH of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, sex workers, gender and sexually diverse young people, and the LGBTIQ+ community.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith.
  • Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University
  • Bachelor of Nursing, University of Southern Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This research project is aligned with a Category 1 Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) research grant – being led by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH). It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and Indigenous health service providers, including First Nations leaders, organisations, and Communities, and to contribute to projects of national and international significance.

    Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) is an Indigenous-led maternity service designed and implemented in South Brisbane (QLD, Australia) from 2013. BiOC provides continuity of care from a midwife and Indigenous Family Support Worker, who engage wrap-around family support, allied health, and medical specialists, as required. An initial evaluation of BiOC published in the Lancet Global Health (2021), showed a significant reduction in preterm births (between 43% and 50%), an increase in healthy weight babies, more antenatal visits and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge.

    IUIH is now expanding BiOC into new communities and has partnered with the UQ Poche Centre to collaboratively evaluate the established BiOC program and BiOC expansion. Overall, we will assess acceptability and clinical outcomes, and compare feasibility, scalability, sustainability, and cost effectiveness across 3 sites. This PhD research project will be part of the larger mixed methods evaluation study and will focus on the experiences of BiOC mums and families, and the service providers, staff and health services managers involved in delivering the BiOC services.

    As our research is community-led and community-based, we respect and prioritise First Nations research approaches and ways of Knowing, Being and Doing. The evidence resulting from this research will ultimately support continued expansion of IUIH’s BiOC program and implementation in additional urban settings, while contributing to policy, systems, and practice changes to ensure quality care and the best possible start to life for First Nations families.

    Working knowledge area that would be of benefit to someone working on the project:

    A working knowledge of one or more of the following areas would be of benefit to someone working on this project:

    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
    • Indigenist and/or qualitative research approaches
    • The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector
    • Maternal and/or infant healthcare and/or an area relevant to family support (esp. with First Nations families)
    • Maternity services (esp. primary care)
    • Public health

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

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 research project is aligned with a Category 1 Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) research grant – being led by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH). It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and Indigenous health service providers, including First Nations leaders, organisations, and Communities, and to contribute to projects of national and international significance.

    Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) is an Indigenous-led maternity service designed and implemented in South Brisbane (QLD, Australia) from 2013. BiOC provides continuity of care from a midwife and Indigenous Family Support Worker, who engage wrap-around family support, allied health, and medical specialists, as required. An initial evaluation of BiOC published in the Lancet Global Health (2021), showed a significant reduction in preterm births (between 43% and 50%), an increase in healthy weight babies, more antenatal visits and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge.

    IUIH is now expanding BiOC into new communities and has partnered with the UQ Poche Centre to collaboratively evaluate the established BiOC program and BiOC expansion. Overall, we will assess acceptability and clinical outcomes, and compare feasibility, scalability, sustainability, and cost effectiveness across 3 sites. This PhD research project will be part of the larger mixed methods evaluation study and will focus on the experiences of BiOC mums and families, and the service providers, staff and health services managers involved in delivering the BiOC services.

    As our research is community-led and community-based, we respect and prioritise First Nations research approaches and ways of Knowing, Being and Doing. The evidence resulting from this research will ultimately support continued expansion of IUIH’s BiOC program and implementation in additional urban settings, while contributing to policy, systems, and practice changes to ensure quality care and the best possible start to life for First Nations families.

    Working knowledge area that would be of benefit to someone working on the project:

    A working knowledge of one or more of the following areas would be of benefit to someone working on this project:

    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
    • Indigenist and/or qualitative research approaches
    • The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector
    • Maternal and/or infant healthcare and/or an area relevant to family support (esp. with First Nations families)
    • Maternity services (esp. primary care)
    • Public health