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Overview of research within the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice

The Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice conducts research that aims to understand and improve access, use, equity, and outcomes from primary and community health services.

We have diverse community, provider, and health system partnerships that enable us to respond to emerging health need and research opportunities.

We undertake a wide range of research activities relevant to Primary Health Care and General Practice.

Through all our research we strive to identify and address inequities in health service access, use, and outcomes for people, whānau, and communities. Our research has a strong focus on translation into health policy and delivery.

We integrate our research findings into undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and supervision. We further advance teaching and learning through educational research and interprofessional education research.

Research teams within the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice

Our research teams and interventions are intrinsically interdisciplinary and interprofessional. We aspire to support and develop research skills in our teams. We have diverse skill sets including qualitative research, conceptual and ethical analysis, exploration of lived experience, participatory action research, conversation and interaction analysis, survey research, systematic review, health measurement, clinical trials, process evaluation, health service evaluation, analysis of large health datasets, implementation science and translational research.

Research groups

Research themes within the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice

Areas of enquiry include health interaction and communication, use of interpreters, use of medicines, immunisation, mental health, musculoskeletal health, respiratory health, sexual health, women’s health, youth health, refugee and migrant health, rainbow health, body size and health, interprofessional collaborative practice, health and research ethics, disaster risk identification, response and recovery, teaching and learning, and the health of groups disadvantaged by inequity, in particular Māori and people from Pacific communities.

Key research themes

  • Addictive and Lifestyle Behaviours
    Alcohol, recreational drugs, smoking, obesity, nutrition
  • Communication in Health Care
    Conversations in health care consultations, skills in talking about challenging topics
  • Educational Research
    Interprofessional education, learning about empathy
  • Health Services
    Health care delivery, models of care, health professionals working together
  • Mental Health
    Mild to moderate mental illness; social constructs, definitions, prevalence, interventions and outcomes

Research projects

Knee Care for Arthritis through Pharmacy study (KneeCAPS)

Masters' and PhDs

If you are interested in collaborating with us we would love to hear from you. If you are interested in studying with us and learning to be a researcher see:

Summer Student Research Projects

The department supervises a number of student research projects each summer.

Summer Studentships at the University of Otago, Wellington


Publications and other research activity

You can explore the Research Activities and Publications of Primary Health Care and General Practice staff members' on their profile pages.

Further information

Associate Professor Maria Stubbe and Associate Professor Ben Darlow: Research Co-directors
Email or

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