Nicole Pope receives the Dean’s Award for Excellence for her work on improving outcomes for sick hospitalised children

Congratulations to Nicole Pope on receiving the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research. This award, valued at $1000, recognises outstanding achievements by Graduate Researchers across the Faculty.

Nicole headshot

Nicole’s research

Nicole is a nurse-clinician scientist at the university, with her PhD centered on hospital-based clinician and patient-facing digital health technologies in pain care for children. Her doctoral project consisted of three interrelated studies that combined clinician, parent, and child perspectives to examine clinical practices and recommendations on leveraging electronic medical record (EMR) and patient portal systems to drive evidence-based pain management practices and improve outcomes for sick hospitalised children. Patient-reported outcomes are increasingly recognised as essential documentation, hence Nicole’s high-impact research program acts as an important contribution to the future of hospitalised children’s pain care by providing critical recommendations for clinical practice, research, and policy to ensure continued progress in digital technologies and to drive excellence in care. This research has the potential to reduce pain and suffering and improve pain care and outcomes for hospitalised children in Australia and internationally. Nicole has shared results at local, national, and international conferences and has published her work manuscripts in leading journals such as PAIN, using her clinical-industry partnerships to promote knowledge uptake into clinical practice.

As Nicole nears completion of her PhD, she is already working on setting up her post-doctoral work. She has collaborated with the paediatric pain team in the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada and was recently awarded the highly competitive Pain in Child Health (PICH) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award supported by the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation (50,000 CAD). Nicole plans to shift her postdoctoral research focus towards the use of digital health technologies to improve outcomes for children with chronic pain. This project will leverage her clinical experience and research expertise to expand her digital health research areas into the use of immersive technologies for children with acute and chronic pain and co-designing digital interventions addressing the mental health, well-being, and parenting needs of parents of children with Chronic Pain.