Social Care and Vulnerable Populations

Our research includes the Social Care Sector and vulnerable populations.

Area lead:

Dr Cate Bailey

Related research staff:

A/Prof Kim Dalziel; Dr Tessa Peasgood; Dr Jemimah Ride

This research area covers the Social Care Sector including out-of-home care, aged care, social welfare etc, and Vulnerable Populations.

The Health Economic Unit has a demonstrated an interest in this applied research area, including associations with two Centres of Research Excellence across a range of projects showing both reach and impact.


Strengthening primary care for children

This study aimed to strengthen the care of children in the community by integrating paediatricians into five GP clinics across the North-West Melbourne region.The Australian health care system is an important service delivery platform, although a variety of barriers exist that may prevent children from accessing and receiving the care they need when they need it.

The study found that families strongly supported this model of care. GPs had increased confidence in care for children, there were fewer referrals, and less unnecessary medications prescribed.

Next steps are researching effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in reducing hospital referrals, strengthening GP paediatric care, and increasing family confidence in GP care in a large, two state trial.

CRE childhood adversity

The Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health is a five year research program co-funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Beyond Blue.

The Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health aims to bring together people with lived experience and their families, practitioners, educators, researchers and policy makers from education, health and human services in a concerted effort to prevent the significant mental health morbidity load of depression, anxiety problems and suicidality experienced by children living in adversity and exposed to adverse childhood experiences.

Childhood equity of provision of heath care for children- Investigator Award- A/Prof Kim Dalziel

Creating a fair and efficient health system for children- New methods to quantify inequities in health service use across components of the Australian health system for vulnerable children

Previous research has identified inequalities in use of health care for Australian children, with poorer children using less out-of-hospital specialist care. However, we currently have no knowledge of equity in use of health care across other parts of the health system and for other groups of vulnerable children. This knowledge is critical to ensure vulnerable children have access to and are using needed health services.

This research aims to understand the use of health service utilisation and equality across other parts of the health system including hospital emergency, inpatient and outpatient settings and to assess the impact of vulnerability for other types of vulnerability including children who are indigenous, living in rural locations, having high needs, and having experienced adversity. The impact of these vulnerabilities on the distribution or equity of children’s health service utilisation will be assessed. The aim is to understand how to improve the design and financing of the Australian health system for children with high needs and vulnerabilities, leading to direct health policy impacts.

Extending the QALY

About the Project | Extending the QALY (

“Standard economic evaluations in health care measure the benefit of treatments in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), which are measures that combine quality of life with length of life. The ‘quality’ adjustment is based on health-related aspects of quality of life. However, there are concerns that measures of health-related quality of life gain miss out important benefits of treatments that are not to do with health. At the same time, different measures are used in health care, social care and public health making it difficult to compare across these sectors, which is important when thinking about the wider government budget.”  Senior Lecturer at HEU, Dr Tess Peasgood, gave a talk in 2020 on the development of the new EuroQual Health and Wellbeing (EQ-HWB) measure

Selected Publications


Baker, F.A., Stretton-Smith, P.A., Sousa, T.V., Clark, I., Cotton, A., Gold, C. and Lee, Y.E.C., 2020. Resource assessment in trials undertaken in residential care homes: Experiences from the Australian MIDDEL cluster randomised controlled trial research team. Contemporary clinical trials communications20, p.100675.

Baker, F.A., Bloska, J., Braat, S., Bukowska, A., Clark, I., Hsu, M.H., Kvamme, T., Lautenschlager, N., Lee, Y.E.C., Smrokowska-Reichmann, A. and Sousa, T.V., 2019. HOMESIDE: home-based family caregiver-delivered music and reading interventions for people living with dementia: protocol of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open9(11), p.e031332.

Boujaoude, M.A., Mirelman, A.J., Dalziel, K. and Carvalho, N., 2018. Accounting for equity considerations in cost-effectiveness analysis: a systematic review of rotavirus vaccine in low-and middle-income countries. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation16(1), pp.1-14.

Hiscock, H., O’Loughlin, R., Pelly, R., Laird, C., Holman, J., Dalziel, K., Lei, S., Boyle, D. and Freed, G., 2020. Strengthening care for children: pilot of an integrated general practitioner–paediatrician model of primary care in Victoria, Australia. Australian Health Review44(4), pp.569-575.

Newman, S., Mcloughlin, J., Skouteris, H., Blewitt, C., Melhuish, E. and Bailey, C. (2020). Does an integrated, wrap-around school and community service model in an early learning setting improve academic outcomes for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds?  Early Child Development and Care DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2020.1803298


Bailey, C., Klas, A,. Cox, R., Bergmeier, H., Avery, J., Skouteris, H. (2019)  Systematic review of organisation-wide, trauma-informed care models in out-of-home care (OoHC) settings. Health & Social Care in the Community, 27, 3.DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12621 URL


Bailey, C., Knight, T., Koolmatrie, J. Brubacher, S. & Powell, M. (2018). Indigenous Perspectives on Operation RESET: An Initiative to Improve the Identification and Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Incidents in Remote Indigenous Communities. Australian Psychologist doi:10.1111/ap.12349

Dalziel, K.M., Huang, L., Hiscock, H. and Clarke, P.M., 2018. Born equal? The distribution of government Medicare spending for children. Social Science & Medicine208, pp.50-54.

Isaacs, A.N., Dalziel, K., Sutton, K. and Maybery, D., 2018. Referral patterns and implementation costs of the Partners in Recovery initiative in Gippsland: learnings for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Australasian Psychiatry26(6), pp.586-589.

Connell, J., Carlton, J., Peasgood, T., Mukuria, C., Brazier, J., Augustovski, F., Belizan, M., Engel, L., Greiner, W., Hanna, L. and Ludwig, K., 2018, October. Extending the QALY: Developing and testing the proposed items for a new generic measure-results from qualitative review and face validity with patients, social care users and carers. In Quality of Life Research (Vol. 27, pp. S189-S189). VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS: SPRINGER.


Bailey, C., Powell, M., & Brubacher, S. P. (2017). The attrition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous child sexual abuse cases in two Australian jurisdictions. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. DOI: 10.1037/law0000119

Bailey, C., Powell, M., & Brubacher, S. P. (2017). Reporting rates of child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities in two Australian jurisdictions. Child Abuse and Neglect, 68,74-80.

Bailey, C., Powell, M., & Baksheev, G. (2017). Evaluation of a database for tracking cases of child sexual abuse. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, doi:10.1080/13218719.2017.1327314

Goranitis, I., Coast, J., Day, E., Copello, A., Freemantle, N. and Frew, E., 2017. Maximizing health or sufficient capability in economic evaluation? A methodological experiment of treatment for drug addiction. Medical Decision Making, 37(5), pp.498-511.


Bailey, C., Mace, G., & Powell, M. (2016). Measuring community and service provider attitudes to child sexual abuse in remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 1–11.


Dalziel, K., Dawe, S., Harnett, P.H. and Segal, L., 2015. Cost‐effectiveness analysis of the Parents under Pressure programme for methadone‐maintained parents. Child abuse review24(5), pp.317-331.

Dalziel, K.M. and Richardson, J.R., 2015. With talk of Medicare reform, let's not neglect vertical equity. Med J Aust202(6), pp.292-3.

Dalziel, K.M., Halliday, D. and Segal, L., 2015. Assessment of the cost–benefit literature on early childhood education for vulnerable children: what the findings mean for policy. Sage Open5(1), p.2158244015571637.

Bailey, C., Mace, G., Powell, M., & Benson, M. (2015). Evaluation of a collaborative operation to improve child sexual abuse reporting in Western Australian Indigenous communities. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 42(12), 1303– 1315.


Dalziel, K. and Segal, L., 2012. Home visiting programmes for the prevention of child maltreatment: cost-effectiveness of 33 programmes. Archives of disease in childhood97(9), pp.787-798.

Segal, L., Sara Opie, R. and Dalziel, K.I.M., 2012. Theory! The missing link in understanding the performance of neonate/infant home‐visiting programs to prevent child maltreatment: A systematic review. The Milbank Quarterly90(1), pp.47-106.