Gold Coast University Hospital Evidence-Based Practice Professorial Unit

Our goals

The EBP Professorial Unit is a joint initiative between Bond University and the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service. We operate on the principle that the incorporation of the best evidence in routine clinical care leads to the best outcomes for patients. We aim to ensure all health care workers are skilled users of research.

We are working with clinical staff, clinical research teams, the GCUH Office for Research Governance and Development and the Gold Coast University Hospital Health Library to:

  • Build a sustainable culture of evidence-based practice at the Hospital to improve the quality, effectiveness safety and efficiency of clinical services;
  • Embed high quality clinical research as part of routine care;
  • Build staff and student research capability across the GCUH;
  • Enhance the research activity and the productivity of the GCUH health care practitioners; and to increase external research grant

Members of the unit, themselves active researchers and evidence-based practitioners, work with the hospital staff in several ways with support available from novices to champions, through delivery of workshops, and individual consultations to assist hospital-based researchers in designing research studies.

Using evidence to improve clinical practice

Health practitioners engage with research on several levels:

  1. Using up-to-date and relevant research in clinical work,
  2. Participating in research teams,
  3. Conducting and leading others in research projects

The EBP Professorial Unit supports and engages with health practitioners at all levels of research participation. We will tailor EBP workshops to your departments needs and provide you access to additional online learning material.

Get into contact with our unit

Levels of research

Level How to Resources
Level 1: Users of research How to use evidence to improve clinical practice

Basic EBP Training

  • 4–hour course
  • tailored to your department needs
  • evidence support and training
  • strengthen and support journal clubs
  • provide clinical question and answer service
Level 2: Participants in research How to create evidence

All level 1 resources


  • systematic review workshops
  • primary research support
    • research mentoring
    • research consultation
    • statistical consultation
Level 3: Leaders in research How to maintain EBP excellence

All level 1 and 2 resources


  • protocol development workshops
  • knowledge translation workshops
  • Equator publication school – "the secret of success in writing and publishing research articles"
  • templates for research proposals
  • comments/suggestions on drafted research proposals
  • assistance with competitive seed funding
  • assistance and comments on grant proposals


  • Provide education, training and workshops
    • EBP workshops (4 hours face to face + 9 hours online self-directed learning)
    • Protocol writing workshop (2 days)
    • Knowledge Translation Course (3 days)
    • Systematic review workshop (1 day)
  • Research capability building, individual consultations, coaching & mentoring
    • Developing a new mixed-methods teaching EBP to eBooks and on-line assessments
    • Expand to integrate into ePortfolios and development of specialty modules
  • Support of knowledge translational activities
    • Working with GCUH Research Office to understand how to increase medical EBP& research engagement
  • Provide statistical advisory services and systematic reviews
  • Scoping review on effective interventions for Deprescribing older hospitalised patients near the end of life
  • Enhancing advance care planning through extraction of routine data in general practice
  • Development and testing of an electronic decision support tool to encourage end-of-life discussions and minimise low-value care
  • Phase 1: InterACT project (Intervention for Appropriate Care and Treatment) Reduce low-value care / non-beneficial treatments across wards

Dr Paulina Stehlik

  • Whack-a-mole: whacking non-evidence-based claims on the head
  • Medical and Surgical Trainee EBP and Research requirements
  • Systematic review of guideline non-adherence to identify overuse of tests and treatments at population level
  • Community pharmacist referral to general practice (funded by the HSM ECR grant)

Associate Professor Magnolia Cardona

  • Prognostic preferences of older inpatients with comorbidities (a multi-centre survey)
  • Optimising Advance Care Planning in General practice (national GP data analysis)
  • Predictors of hospital transfers and mortality for people in residential aged care facilities (multi-centre retrospective analysis)
  • Identification of older people with palliative care needs presenting at rural hospitals (Prospective cohort)
  • Development of an electronic decision aid for older people with chronic diseases (pilot)
  • Overuse (over-prescribing, over-testing and over-treating) adults with non-cancer conditions (Systematic review)
  • Effectiveness of Deprescribing older patients in the last year of life (Systematic review)
  • Discrepancy of views on end-of-life care quality between consumers and health service providers (Scoping review)

Published projects

  1. Cardona, M., Kellett, J., Lewis, E., Brabrand, M. and Ní Chróinín, D., 2018. Truth disclosure on prognosis: Is it ethical not to communicate personalised risk of death?. International journal of clinical practice, 72(8), p.e13222.
  2. Trankle, S.A., Shanmugam, S., Lewis, E., Nicholson, M., Hillman, K. and Cardona, M., 2018. Are We Making Progress on Communication with People Who Are Near the End of Life in the Australian Health System? A Thematic Analysis. Health communication, pp.1-10.
  3. Cardona-Morrell, M., Lewis, E., Suman, S., Haywood, C., Williams, M., Brousseau, A.A., Greenaway, S., Hillman, K. and Dent, E., 2017. Recognising older frail patients near the end of life: What next?. European journal of internal medicine, 45, pp.84-90.
  4. Cardona-Morrell, M., Benfatti-Olivato, G., Jansen, J., Turner, R.M., Fajardo-Pulido, D. and Hillman, K., 2017. A systematic review of effectiveness of decision aids to assist older patients at the end of life. Patient education and counseling, 100(3), pp.425-435.
  5. Cardona-Morrell, M., Chapman, A., Turner, R.M., Lewis, E., Gallego-Luxan, B., Parr, M. and Hillman, K., 2016. Pre-existing risk factors for in-hospital death among older patients could be used to initiate end-of-life discussions rather than rapid response system calls: a case-control study. Resuscitation, 109, pp.76-80.
  1. Cardona, M. and Greenaway, S., 2019. The medicalisation of dying from natural causes: unacceptable to patients, low-value for the health system. The Health Advocate, (54), pp.34-36.
  2. Cardona, M., Turner, R.M., Chapman, A., Alkhouri, H., Lewis, E.T., Jan, S., Nicholson, M., Parr, M., Williamson, M. and Hillman, K., 2018. Who benefits from aggressive rapid response system treatments near the end of life? A retrospective cohort study. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 44(9), pp.505-513.
  3. Cardona-Morrell, M., Kim, J.C.H., Turner, R.M., Anstey, M., Mitchell, I.A. and Hillman, K., 2016. Non-beneficial treatments in hospital at the end of life: a systematic review on extent of the problem. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 28(4), pp.456-469.
  4. Cardona-Morrell, M., Kim, J.C., Brabrand, M., Gallego-Luxan, B. and Hillman, K., 2017. What is inappropriate hospital use for elderly people near the end of life? A systematic review. European journal of internal medicine, 42, pp.39-50.
  5. Hillman, K.M. and Cardona-Morrell, M., 2015. The ten barriers to appropriate management of patients at the end of their life. Intensive care medicine, 41(9), pp.1700-1702.
  1. Lewis, E.T., Dent, E., Alkhouri, H., Kellett, J., Williamson, M., Asha, S., Holdgate, A., Mackenzie, J., Winoto, L., Fajardo-Pulido, D. and Ticehurst, M., 2019. Which frailty scale for patients admitted via Emergency Department? A cohort study. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 80, pp.104-114.
  2. Cardona, M., Lewis, E.T., Kristensen, M.R., Skjøt-Arkil, H., Ekmann, A.A., Nygaard, H.H., Jensen, J.J., Jensen, R.O., Pedersen, J.L., Turner, R.M. and Garden, F., 2018. Predictive validity of the CriSTAL tool for short-term mortality in older people presenting at Emergency Departments: a prospective study. European geriatric medicine, 9(6), pp.891-901.
  3. Cardona, M., O'Sullivan, M., Lewis, E.T., Turner, R.M., Garden, F., Alkhouri, H., Asha, S., Mackenzie, J., Perkins, M., Suri, S. and Holdgate, A., 2019. Prospective Validation of a Checklist to Predict Short‐term Death in Older Patients After Emergency Department Admission in Australia and Ireland. Academic Emergency Medicine, 26(6), pp.610-620.
  4. Cardona, M., Lewis, E.T., Turner, R.M., Alkhouri, H., Asha, S., Mackenzie, J., Perkins, M., Suri, S., Holdgate, A., Winoto, L. and Chang, C.W., 2018. Efficacy of a tool to predict short-term mortality in older people presenting at emergency departments: protocol for a multi-centre cohort study. Archives of gerontology and geriatrics, 76, pp.169-174.
  5. Lewis, E., Kristensen, M.R., O’Sullivan, M., Ekmann, A.A., Skjøt-Arkil, H., Nygaard, H.H. and Cardona-Morrell, M., 2017. Challenges of measuring frailty in emergency departments and proposed solutions. Innovation in aging, 1 (Suppl 1), pp.383-383.
  6. Williams, M., Cardona-Morrell, M., Stevens, P., Bey, J. and Glasgow, M.S., 2017. Timing of palliative care team referrals for inpatients receiving rapid response services: a retrospective pilot study in a US hospital. International journal of nursing studies, 75, pp.147-153.
  7. Cardona-Morrell, M. and Hillman, K., 2015. Development of a tool for defining and identifying the dying patient in hospital: Criteria for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care (CriSTAL). BMJ supportive & palliative care, 5(1), pp.78-90.
  1. Cardona, M., Lewis, E., Shanmugam, S., Nicholson, M., Williamson, M., Hanly, L. and Hillman, K., 2019. Dissonance on perceptions of end‐of‐life needs between health‐care providers and members of the public: Quantitative cross‐sectional surveys. Australasian journal on ageing.
  2. Lewis, E.T., Harrison, R., Hanly, L., Psirides, A., Zammit, A., McFarland, K., Dawson, A., Hillman, K., Barr, M. and Cardona, M., 2019. End‐of‐life priorities of older adults with terminal illness and caregivers: A qualitative consultation. Health Expectations, 22(3), pp.405-414.
  3. Lewis, E., Cardona-Morrell, M., Ong, K.Y., Trankle, S.A. and Hillman, K., 2016. Evidence still insufficient that advance care documentation leads to engagement of healthcare professionals in end-of-life discussions: A systematic review. Palliative medicine, 30(9), pp.807-824.


Workshops and research support

The EBP Professorial Unit offers discounted seats for Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service District staff to attend workshops aimed at providing them with EBP and research skills and knowledge. In addition, the unit also offers individual consultations for researchers on their projects.

This workshop provides fundamental skills in Evidence Based Practice (EBP). It is aimed at busy clinicians who want to learn how to effectively search and evaluate evidence to answer clinical questions.

This includes creating answerable questions using PICO, how to critically appraise the quality of the evidence found, understanding the statistics, and applying findings to every-day practice. No previous EBP or research experience is required.

The 4-hour face to face workshops are tailored to your department needs. You will work in small groups and will have access to additional online learning materials.

EBP workshops are free for Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service District staff.

Planned workshops for 2020:

2 April 08:00-12:30 Cancer, Blood, Palliative Care
30 April 13:00-17:00 Departments: Emergency, ICU, Trauma
23 & 30 July 10:00-12:00 Transitional Care
10 & 24 September 14:00-16:00 Allied Health
12 November 13:00-17:00 Departments: Emergency, ICU, Trauma

Any GCHHS staff member interested in attending one of the above workshops, please contact Iris Gerke on [email protected]

EBP Workshop Flyer

Please contact us to discuss your department needs [email protected]

The EBP Professorial Unit offers individual consultations to assist hospital-based researchers with designing research studies, seed funding and grant applications.

Consultations are available for those who have research experience or those who have completed the EBP workshops.

Consultations booking: [email protected]

  • Protocol Writing Workshop
  • Systematic Review Workshop

For both workshops we offer seats at discounted price for GCUH and Health Service District staff, please visit our events page for more information and to register for workshops