Public relations officer
Two Avondale College lecturers have presented papers at a research evening organised by the Greater Sydney chapter of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia.
Dr Athena Sheehan, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Nursing and Health, called her paper, "Complex decisions: exploring the infant feeding decision in the first six weeks post-birth." Her findings? While a woman bases the decision to breastfeed her baby on many factors, the emphasis for health professionals and the community appears embedded in the "breast is best" message.
Athena's master's research emphasised the positive experience of breastfeeding, but she discovered that not every women shared this feeling. Athena felt her master's "set women up for failure." She feels her doctoral thesis, on which this paper is partly based, better explains the experience.
Athena and colleagues from the University of Western Sydney have received a $78,000 grant from the Australian Research Council to study whether the attitudes of those within families and those supporting families make an impact on a mother's infant feeding decisions.
The Journal of Advanced Nursing will publish a paper by Athena early this year.
Dr Malcolm Anderson, also a senior lecturer and the faculty's postgraduate studies coordinator, shared the findings of his paper, "Differential pathways of psychological distress in spouses versus parents of people with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)."
A multi-group analysis showed cognitive and behavioural impairments in spouses with TBI disrupted family functioning, which increased psychological distress. While these impairments did not disrupt family functioning for parents of people with TBI, cognitive impairments in these people did increase the parents' psychological distress. In fact, the cognitive impairment of people with TBI caused a higher level of distress in parents than with spouses.
Other authors of the paper include Malcolm's colleague Tamera Gosling and Dr Peter Morey from the Faculty of Business and Information Technology. Malcolm is researching with collaborators from the Brain Injury Unit at Liverpool Health Service and the Centre for Assessment Research and Development at The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Caption: Dr Athena Sheehan spoke about her research with Record InFocus host David Gibbons. The interview will air on the Australian Christian Channel (7 pm) and Hope Channel (8 pm) on Friday, February 26.
Credit: Gilmore Tanabose
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