Professor Sally Hall

RN, GradCert ClinMan, PhD
Head, Rural Clinical School
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: +61 437 226161

Areas of expertise

  • Health Services And Systems 4203
  • Rural And Remote Health Services 420321
  • General Practice 420304
  • Primary Health Care 420319
  • Nursing 4205
  • Social Determinants Of Health 420606

Research interests

Rural health and healthcare delivery

Complexity science and the ecology of healthcare

Variation in clinical practice

The role of generalism in healthcare systems

Safety, quality & clinical governance in primary health care

The impact of interprofessional and interpersonal relationships on healthcare delivery

Qualitative and mixed methods research

Nursing in general practice

Chronic disease management in primary care


Sally Hall Dykgraaf is a health services researcher based in the ANU Rural Clinical School. She has extensive experience in the management and analysis of qualitative data and mixed methods approaches, as well as the use of methods such as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Social Network Analysis. She has expertise in the use of novel and innovative research methods and techniques, such as rapid appraisal and ethnographic observation,  and experience in using deliberative and collaborative approaches to data synthesis and interpretation. She also has experience in the design and implementation of program evaluations and has participated in numerous consultancy projects including contracts with State funded health services and Primary Healthcare organisations.

She has undertaken, with colleagues, research exploring the role of nurses in general practice, inter-professional learning, the use of practice guidelines in clinical decision making, clinical governance and integration in primary care settings, the community impact of rural medical education, advance care planning in rural residential aged care, and a cluster-randomised trial of triage by non-clinical staff in general practice. Her doctoral research explored clinical practice variation in general practice management of chronic disease, using social ecological systems and complexity theory, and employed QCA to examine data derived from pooled electronic medical records.

Sally is a Registered Nurse with a background in rural critical care and post graduate qualifications in clinical management. She has worked clinically in general practice, hospital and public health settings, and as the Director of Policy and Planning with a rural NSW Division of General Practice, where she was instrumental in developing locally based quality improvement initiatives for general practices including the establishment of the initial wave of the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives. She also has experience in clinical quality systems, and governance development and implementation in the publicly-funded health sector, having worked as the Manager of Clinical Health Improvement for a NSW Area Health Service.

In 2003 she was one of two inaugural recipients of the National Institute for Clinical Studies' GP Leader Awards, and was a foundation member of the Research Advisory Board of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, as well as a member of Royal Australian College of General Practioners (RACGP) National Research & Evaluation Ethics Committee from 2013 to 2022. From March 2020 to early 2023, Sally was seconded to the Commonwealth Department of Health undertaking action research alongside the COVID-19 Primary Care Response Group. This work included undertaking rapid reviews and evidence synthesis to inform policy decision making, and description and publication of the COVID-19 policy response for the academic record. 

Researcher's projects

Systematic review of multisectoral approaches to primary care and their impact on health system performance.

Systematic review of strategies to protect aged care residents during COVID-19

Ecological determinants of healthcare utilisation and outcomes in rural and remote settings - a living systematic review

ANU College of Health & Medicine COVID-19 Primary Care Action Research Team seconded to Australian Government department of Health COVID-19 Primary Care Response Group

COVID-19 Quick Clinician Survey - see website below 

Enhancing quality and safety through guidelines in chronic disease management – a comparison of decision-making processes. 

National evaluation working group - Regional Training Hubs

Current student projects

Understanding change in rural intention during medical school

Review of simulation education in rural medical training

Rural conceptualisations of health and wellbeing

Medical student perceptions of racism in rural clinical practice

Patient perceptions of quality in rural healthcare

Extreme weather events and impact on clinical practice in SE NSW

Past student projects

Influences on preferred mode of birth after caesarean in rural South Eastern NSW

An analysis of stressors within Australian general practice during the 2020 COVID19 outbreak

Understanding medical student's perceptions of rurality

Assessing the effect of rideshare services on healthcare access in rural areas

Effects of rural internship programs on access to care and health outcomes of rural and remote communities

Perceptions of quality of care among rural and urban clinicians in Australia

The impact of student-led health screenings in rural communities on engagement with primary care services

Who's responsible? Understanding clinician's views and attitudes to coordination of healthcare in the ambulatory setting

Clinincal decision making and adherence to diabetes management guidelines

Clinical decision making and adherence to guidelines for chronic respiratory disease


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  18 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers