Current research projects

Population health research

  • Rural-urban differences in health literacy
  • Responsibility for health literacy; agency and capacity
  • Healthcare delivery setting effects on health literacy
  • Emergency medicine including management of medical transfers from small rural hospitals; and management of upper respiratory tract infections in small rural hospitals
  • General practitioners knowledge about Q fever at a time when the epidemiology for the disease may be changing
  • Developing and validating measures of patient reported outcomes

Health education / workforce research

  • Factors that influence rural medical practice, particularly for UQ medical students
  • The role of medical student contact time with registrars during medical training on the field of medicine that students choose to specialize in
  • Preparation for internship focusing on the non-clinical skills that interns require
  • Assessment of learning in medical school; including examiner calibration of OSCEs and the assessment of learning in the MiS rotation

Researcher biography

Remo Ostini (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Rural Clinical School Research Centre.

At the RCS Research Centre he is applying his training and experience in psychometric methods, systematic reviews, population health planning and geographical information systems to research in rural and remote area health. This includes work on training doctors in rural settings; health disparities between urban and rural populations; and indigenous health research.

Prior to commencing at the Rural Clinical School, Remo worked at the Healthy Communities Research Centre at UQ's former Ipswich Campus and with the West Moreton-Oxley Medicare Local. At HCRC he maintained a workplace health screening database for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, investigated healthy spaces for the Ipswich City Council (using GIS), and developed an ongoing program of research in health literacy, which included research on health literacy in community pharmacy settings and the relationship between health literacy and medication adherence. Remo helped WMOML with their population health planning, including work on a comprehensive needs assessment for the West Moreton and South-West Brisbane region and a population health profile for the West Moreton and Darling Downs region.

Remo's health literacy work reflects his interest in the social determinants of health; an important lens through which to understand the health challenges facing rural and indigenous populations.

In addition to these activities he has continued developing and validating measures of people's health attributes and behaviours. This includes the development of an international measure of HPV knowledge, comparison of three pain measures used in RACFs, and the validation of measures of chronic illness care and diabetes-dependent quality of life.

Early academic work on a feasibility study for an opioid maintenance trail at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (ANU) predated a PhD in psychometric methods with a graduate minor in bioethics at the University of Minnesota. This led to experiences teaching psychological measurement and multivariate statistics at UMN and at the School of Psychology at UQ. Later work at the UQ School of Pharmacy included systematic reviews of prescribing influences, a pharmacoepidemiological study of clopidogrel prescribing, and a post-market review of ezetimibe prescribing.