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Distinguished Professor Richard Osborne

Professor/Director

Biography

Richard Osborne is Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences and Director, Centre for Global Health and Equity, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design. He holds a prestigious NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (2019-23), is an adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (2018 top 1% most influential researcher globally in the cross-field category). He holds Honorary Professor positions at Copenhagen University, Denmark, and Thammasat University, Thailand.

Professor Osborne and his team have an exceptional track record in building new methods and tools that are implemented globally and are useful for Public Health, Healthcare, Digital Health and Policy sectors. These practical research outputs include a range of measurement tools (HLQ, eHLQ, heiQ, MAPT, CHAT, OrgHLR) that enable community-wide co-design to generate whole of system improvements in health and community services to reduce health inequalities and increase service quality. The latter key research output is called the Ophelia (Optimising Health Literacy and Access) Process applied in many parts of the world, including within WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects (WHO NHLDPs).

He developed the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) which has become one of the most widely used health literacy tools in the world. It is being applied in government-sponsored National Health Surveys, clinical trials, multi-national evaluations, and numerous quality improvement initiatives. This questionnaire is having a global impact; among the 12,500 health literacy papers published in the past 10 years, it is 2nd most highly sighted original research paper (280 cites) and over 400 research projects are registered to use it.

He developed and leads Swinburne's global #beatCOVID19now app/web platform, focused on tracking, managing and enabling community recovery from COVID-19. This platform uses the Influenza Intensity and Impact Questionnaire (FluiiQ; www.fluiiq.com) that he developed. It is translated to >50 languages and is used in global vaccine and antiviral trials for influenza and influenza-like illnesses, including coronavirus.

He has completed a wide range of assignments and contracts for the WHO, including WHO's Global Coordinating Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. He was a health literacy consultant for the Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases - WG1 (Health Literacy). For WHO he has delivered health literacy capacity building to member states including in Russia, Philippines, Myanmar, Egypt, Sudan, Portugal and Brunei. He developed the concept of WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects and a NHLDP global community of practice which is being implemented across regions.

He currently leads a consortium to develop the NSW Mental Health Commission's state-wide Mental Health Literacy Responsiveness training and education program. The consortium includes Swinburne, UNSW and Newcastle University.

Other activities:

  • Established the first WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Literacy.
  • Development, implementation and embedding of public waiting list reform for hip & knee replacement surgery.
  • Built the Health Education Impact Questionnaire (heiQ), a measure of chronic disease self-management programs used globally.
He has supervised numerous PhD scholars to completion and receives applications from scholars and fellows seeking to become public health leaders.

Professor Osborne’s research income is over $22 million and he has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed papers (>37,000 citations, h-index 54).

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

The Epidemiology of Health Literacy in Australia: Applications welcome: The HLQ (Health Literacy Questionnaire) has been applied in the ABS National Health Survey. This PhD involves answering a wide range of research questions related to the epidemiology of diverse groups and the relationships between health literacy and inequality.

Honours

Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Public Health And Health Services - 111700

Publications

Also published as: Osborne, Richard; Osborne, R.; Osborne, R. H.; Osborne, Richard H.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2020: Consumer Education and Awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease *; Crohn's & Colitis Australia
  • 2020: WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on health education and health literacy *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: Developing and testing processes and tools to generate connected and live health security knowledge in Mekong Communities *; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Evaluation of the Action for Healthier Families (AHF) Toolkit implementation in three demonstration sites in Vanuatu *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: Evaluation of the AHF toolkit implementation in three Vanuatu Demonstration Sites *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: How to increase health literacy about NCDs and their risk factors to support the identification of bold recommendations by the WHO Independent High-level Commission on NCDs *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: Irish Heart Foundation - 'WHO IHF National Health Literacy Demonstration Project' *; Irish Heart Foundation
  • 2019: Literacy Demonstration Projects on NCDs *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM) Health Literacy for Gippsland Region Integrated Cancer Services *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme
  • 2019: Using health literacy to make health systems more inclusive and effective *; NHMRC Research Fellowship
  • 2019: Working paper for how to increase health literacy about NCDs and their risk factors *; World Health Organisation
  • 2019: Workshop on Health Literacy Country Projects, Moscow, Russian Federation *; World Health Organisation

* Chief Investigator