Lifestyle Research Centre


The Lifestyle Research Centre (LRC) was established in 2013 to foster multidisciplinary research relating to lifestyle, health and wellbeing.

The LRC brings together academics from the various Faculties at Avondale College of Higher Education and collaborating researchers from other Australian and International institutions who are passionate about investigating the role of positive lifestyle in the promotion of health and wellbeing. The aim of the LRC is to be a world-leading lifestyle research centre.

Research Partners

The LRC and its researchers collectively or individually partner and collaborate with several organisations and researchers from other academic institutions. These include the:
  • Adventist Development and Relief Agency
  • Australasian Research Institute
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Brien Holden Vision Institute Sydney
  • CARITAS Takeo Eye Hospital, Cambodia
  • Centre of Eye Research Australia (CERA), University of Melbourne
  • Lifestyle Medicine Institute
  • Loma Linda University, California
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Australia
  • South Pacific Division of the Adventist Church
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney

Research Foci

The LRC and its researchers are involved in numerous research projects. Click on individual staff profiles for more specific information. Broad foci the researchers at the LRC are involved with include:

The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP)

CHIP is a comprehensive lifestyle intervention that has been shown in numerous peer-reviewed publications to be effective for the management and even reversal of chronic illnesses. CHIP is now used in 10 countries around the world and is one of the most well published community-based lifestyle interventions in the medical literature. Academics from the LRC consulted in the development of CHIP and the LRC coordinates the international research effort relating to CHIP. Some of the projects and evaluations relating to CHIP include:
  • The effectiveness of the CHIP lifestyle intervention in the United States, Canada and Australasia.
  • The effectiveness of a modified version of the CHIP intervention for illiterate communities in the South Pacific.
  • The cost effectiveness of the CHIP lifestyle intervention in the United States.
  • Changes in lipid sub-fractions associated with a transition to a plant-based eating pattern.
  • Changes in short-chain fatty acids as a surrogate for gut flora in response to a transition to a plant-based eating pattern.

Adventist Health and Lifestyle Survey

Over the past two decades, students from Adventist Schools within Australia have been surveyed about their health, health behaviours and other health determinants. The LRC is the custodian of the arising data set and are responsible for publishing the outcomes of the investigation. Current projects include:
  • The changing nature of health and health behaviours in students attending Adventist schools in Australia: 1989-2011.
  • Changing family dynamics in students attending Adventist schools in Australia: 1989-2011.
  • The relationship between family dynamics and health behaviours in students attending Adventist schools in Australia.

Healthcare Associated Infections and Infectious Disease

Healthcare associated infections are infections that result from a person receiving healthcare. They are relatively common, yet a large proportion can be prevented. Researchers at the LRC are actively involved in several projects relating to healthcare associated infection and infectious disease including:
  • REACH project - Researching Effective Approaches to Cleaning Hospital. NHMRC funded partnership grant. Avondale is a partner. 2014-2017. Estimated 5 publications.
  • STRUI project - Surveillance to reduce urinary tract infections. Partnership between Avondale, Australian Catholic University, Canberra Hospital and Melbourne Health.
  • Defining an optimal infection control model. Partnership Avondale, Australian Catholic University, Queensland University of Technology and Gold Coast Hospital.
  • Urinary tract infections in an Australian Setting. Partnership between Avondale, Hunter New England Health. Awarded $15000 grant.
  • Prior Room Occupancy and risk of infection. Systematic review. 2014-15. Partnership between Avondale, NHS (United Kingdom). Summer scholarship supporting this.
  • Nurse staffing and risk of infection. Systematic review +- meta analysis. 2014-15.Partnership between Avondale, NHS, University of Columbia, Australian Catholic University. Awarded $7500 grant.
  • Evaluating environmental cleanliness. Parternship between Avondale, DHHS (Tasmania). 2014-15.
  • Graduating nurses knowledge of infection control. Partnership between Avondale, University of Tasmania, DHHS (Tasmania). 2013-14. Awarded $10 000 grant.
  • Antimicrobial resistance in urinary isolates, a population based study. Partnership between Avondale and Royal Hobart Hospital.
  • Risk of MRSA from prior room occupancy. Partnership between Avondale, Launceston Hospital, NHS (UK).
  • The role of surveillance. Partnership between Avondale and Queensland University of Technology.

Avoidable Blindness

Globally over 30 million people suffer needlessly from avoidable impaired vision and blindness. As a result, there is a huge human and economic cost to society. The burden is greatest in developing countries where public health resources (infrastructure and human resources) are limited.

Cultural, social and belief perspectives often hinder the uptake of eye health care services. With the growing trend in lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, there will be an additional increase in the burden of eye diseases. There remains a need to develop appropriate strategies to combat avoidable eye diseases.

Current areas of research include:
  • Knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with eye health
  • Barriers to the up-take of eye health care services
  • Patients perspectives about eye health services
  • Eye Health Strategic program planning and evaluation

Medical Humanities

Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary endeavour that draws on the creative and intellectual strengths of diverse disciplines, including literature, art, creative writing, drama, film, music, philosophy, ethical decision making, anthropology, and history, in pursuit of medical educational goals

Research Leaders

Researchers at the LRC are listed below. Click on the link for further information about the researcher, including publications.

Fields of Research

The outputs and publications of the LRC are reported under the following Fields of Research codes:

  • 111716 Preventive Medicine
  • 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention
  • 119999 Other Medical and Health Services
  • 111002 Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
  • 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
  • 111004 Clinical Nursing: Tertiary (Rehabilitative)
  • 111706 Epidemiology
  • 110801 Medical Bacteriology
  • 191901 Art Theory and Criticism
  • 202001 Communication and Media Studies

Post-graduate research opportunities

The LRC offers study opportunities for Higher Research Degree (HRD) students at both Masters and PhD levels. Past and current HRD students have/are undertaking projects including:

  • The effectiveness of a volunteer-delivered, community-based lifestyle modification program (CHIP) for reducing the risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome.
    (PhD, completed 2014)
  • The relationship between changing health behaviours in adolescents who attend Adventist Schools in Australia and their attitudes towards their childhood family dynamics.
    (PhD, confirmed 2014, ongoing)
  • A community-based lifestyle education program addressing non-communicable diseases in islands of the South Pacific.
    (PhD, confirmed 2014, ongoing)

The LRC also offers postgraduate courses in Lifestyle Medicine (Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine, Graduate Diploma in Lifestyle Medicine and Masters of Lifestyle Medicine). The Masters of Lifestyle Medicine includes a research component that students may undertake in a diverse range of areas.


The Lifestyle Research Centre is governed by the Lifestyle Research Centre Board, see Terms of Reference at

Contact the LRC

For more information about the LRC, please contact Dr Lillian Kent – or email individual researchers.

The LRC is located at Avondale College of Higher Education, Lake Macquarie campus. Click here for a map indicating the location of the LRC at this campus.

Last Updated:08th December 2015
Updated By: Roberta Matai