Dr Karen Gardner

ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: 6125 7875

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Health 111701
  • Health And Community Services 111708
  • Primary Health Care 111717
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117


Karen Gardner (BA. MPH, PhD) is a health services researcher with a background in sociology and postgraduate qualifications in population health. She is a Fellow with the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI). Her PhD investigated the sustainability of a large scale quality improvement program in Aboriginal primary health care. She has extensive experience in the use of qualitative methods in large scale mixed methods evaluations and is currently leading the evaluation of a continuous quality improvement program in Aboriginal Community Controlled primary health care services in Western Australia.  Her research aims to understand the social aspects of the design, organisation, implementation and routinisation of health service interventions to improve the quality and outcomes of primary health care programs, particularly for underserved populations. She is currently a member of the National Committee on outcome based reporting in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Australian Department of Health. 

Researcher's projects

  • The Effective Policy Implementation Project
  • Sustainability of continuous quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care
  • Assessing the effectiveness of organizational interventions in Quality Improvement programs: Systematic review.
  • Care improvement in WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Services.

Current student projects

Sharon Leigh-Hazell, PhD Panel Advisor: Models of care for older persons with chronic mental illness

MBBS Student Research Projects

Grace Garden (2014-15). Cultural awareness and health service delivery

Past student projects

Tanisha Joswey, PhD Panel. Project: Chronic illness time (awarded 2014)

MBBS Student Research Projects

Sarah Lovibond (2013) Assessing readiness for quality improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services

Jessica Reeks (2013) Development of a Team Effectiveness Measure for interprofessional primary health care teams


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Updated:  24 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers