Senior Research Officer, Activated OSHC
BHSc (Hons), PhD
Karen is a Senior Research Officer with the Child Physical Activity, Health and Development team, working on the Activated Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) project. This project focuses on the implementation of OSHC physical activity and screen time best practice guidelines, recently developed in close consultation with the OSHC sector and stakeholders. Resources and an accreditation package will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial involving 162 OSHC services across three states: South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales.
Karen’s key research interests include nutrition and physical activity, body image and the prevention of alcohol uptake by adolescents. Her past roles have included investigating diverse research areas including COVID-19; social and emotional wellbeing and the arts; and evaluation of a community-led initiative designed to improve outcomes in early childhood. Karen completed her PhD in 2018, designing, implementing and evaluating of the impact of a body image professional development program for Early Childhood Educators.
The DETECT-Schools Study was launched in May 2020 as a partnership between the WA Government Departments of Education and Health with the Telethon Kids Institute.
Awake and Alert: Examining the Portrayal of Energy Drinks on TikTok
Energy drinks (EDs) are not recommended for minors' consumption due to a myriad of health risks, but marketing initiatives persist. This study explored the promotion of EDs on TikTok, a platform frequented by children and adolescents.Published research Nutrition Child Disability Cardiometabolic Sunhealth Child Physical Activity, Health and Development Technology & Kids Food and Nutrition Child and adolescent healthJanuary 2022
Western Australian adolescent emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been vast and are not limited to physical health. Many adolescents have experienced disruptions to daily life, including changes in their school routine and family’s financial or emotional security, potentially impacting their emotional wellbeing.Published research School Attendance Youth Health Healthy Skin and ARF Prevention Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Young People Geospatial Health and Development COVID-19 School and Community WellbeingJanuary 2022
Acceptability of OP/Na swabbing for SARS-CoV-2: a prospective observational cohort surveillance study in Western Australian schools
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, Governments responded with lockdown and isolation measures to combat viral spread, including the closure of many schools. More than a year later, widespread screening for SARS-CoV-2 is critical to allow schools and other institutions to remain open.Published research Academic Biostatistics Infectious Diseases School Attendance Healthy Skin and ARF Prevention COVID-19 School and Community WellbeingFebruary 2021
DETECT Schools Study Protocol: A Prospective Observational Cohort Surveillance Study Investigating the Impact of COVID-19 in Western Australian Schools
Amidst the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the transmission dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is key to providing peace of mind for the community and informing policy-making decisions. While available data suggest that school-aged children are not significant spreaders of SARS-CoV-2, the possibility of transmission in schools remains an ongoing concern, especially among an aging teaching workforce. Even in low-prevalence settings, communities must balance the potential risk of transmission with the need for students' ongoing education.Published research Academic Biostatistics Influenza Infectious Diseases Human Capability Subsite: Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Healthy Skin and ARF Prevention Child Physical Activity, Health and Development Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Young People Geospatial Health and Development
Education and Qualifications