The School of Nursing strives to achieve and sustain world-class research in nursing and health. Supported by the University’s policy to promote innovative, high-impact and multidisciplinary research and fostered by the Faculty’s outstanding research achievements, the School has made important advances in smoking cessation and tobacco control, health impact and prevention of violence, maternal and child health, quality of life, psycho-oncology, and elderly health promotion.
Our research teams have expertise in a variety of research methods including randomized controlled trials, surveys, meta-analysis, qualitative methods, mixed methods, instrument development and validation, and complex interventions. We also have international collaborative links as well as partnership with the local community to generate, disseminate and apply knowledge.
Our School's Smoking Cessation and Tobacco Control team has conducted the largest number of randomized controlled trials and other intervention studies on smoking cessation in this region with high impact publications internationally and policy impacts locally and regionally. We have been appointed as World Health Organisation temporary advisors or short term consultants for more than 10 times. We focus on non-pharmacological and brief interventions which are most cost effective and most affordable and relevant to middle and low income countries. We have trained more than 1000 health care professionals and motivated more to help smokers quit.
We have also contributed important new evidence for causal inference on the harmful effects of active and passive smoking (such that smoking is now concluded to be causal for tuberculosis, stroke, and erectile dysfunction in the 2014 USSG report). Our evaluation studies of tobacco control measures in Hong Kong can serve as successful examples for China Mainland and elsewhere.
For further information about our research deliverables and impact, please visit our team's website at https://sctc.nursing.hku.hk/
Our research focuses on the identification of family violence and the adverse impact of violence and abuse on survivors' physical and mental health, as demonstrated by self-reports (e.g. chronic pain, depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms), imaging (e.g. functional MRI), and biomarkers (e.g. telomerase activity). We have also developed and implemented a research programme on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of family violence over the last two decades, with impact on global and local policy, practice, education and research.
The Maternal and Child Health research program in the School of Nursing is focused on research that can identify health risk factors among women, children and families so that we can promote their health and well-being. Investigators in the School of Nursing are conducting interdisciplinary, public health research using a life course approach that integrates theories and knowledge from nursing, public health, psychology and biological sciences to identify and respond to the early antecedents of adverse health outcomes. This research is establishing the evidence base to prevent or ameliorate a wide range of health conditions from infectious disease in infancy, infant nutrition, childhood obesity, paediatric cancer, scoliosis, postnatal depression, parental stress and coping, and family violence.
The development of health-related quality of life dates back to the 60’s; since then, the measurement of health-related quality of life has made a major impact on the evaluation of healthcare and medical interventions. Our research focuses on ensuring measurement tools for health-related quality of life are adequately assessed before they are used in practice. This includes the development of assessment methods (e.g. modification of Cronbach’s alpha when there are inconsistent responses), and cultural adaptation of tools (e.g. SF-12, PedsQLTM, and FLIC), with immense application in research and practice.
Helping vulnerable group, such as cancer patients and survivors ease the psychological burden at every step of their long and difficult cancer journey is recognized as one of the most vital responsibilities of a nurse. Our research focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of psychological interventions for childhood cancer and survivors with the aim of enhancing their quality of life. We also examine how children cope with cancer, which is an essential prerequisite for the design of effective psychological interventions to help them ease the burden of cancer treatment. Additionally, we explore the risk perceptions, and the behaviour and attitudes related to smoking of current smoking cancer patients, which is crucial for the design of an effective smoking cessation intervention that can help them achieve a greater level of smoking abstinence and a lower level of relapse.
a) Adventure-based training for childhood cancer survivors
b) Helping cancer patients to quit smoking
Our research focuses on elderly health promotion through the primary, secondary and tertiary preventions. Primary preventions include reduction of illnesses through healthy lifestyle, such as raising health literacy on physical activity, vitamin D intake and reduction of salt intake. Secondary preventions include early detection of chronic illnesses, such as screening for diabetes and dementia in a community setting. Tertiary preventions include self-management of diabetes through raising health literacy of diabetes. We have conducted randomized controlled trials in increasing physical activities of diabetic patients through a health literacy program, which was found to be an effective and sustainable program in management of diabetes. We also actively involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with other professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, social workers, and psychologists. An evaluation study on the treatment of stroke patients in a transitional residential care setting was conducted for an NGO. With advancements in information technology, we have started to apply information technology in health promotion programs like using Apps in diabetes risk assessment.