Primary Health Care and Community Services

Primary Health Care & Community Services aims to investigate the quality of primary health care, health promotion and population health initiatives and has a focus on equity in health access and outcomes, social determinants of health, primary prevention, and health services and policy. Led by Dr Sara Javanparast, this area of research is based on a participatory approach engaging policymakers, practitioners and primary health care clients within primary and community health services. We collaborate with a wide range of government organisations, NGOs, and Aboriginal organisations such as the Poche Centre for Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.



Key areas of expertise

  • Evaluation of community-based health services (also see Southgate Solutions)
  • Research on equity and access to services
  • Social determinants of health
  • Health services research
  • Community development 
  • Medicare Locals and their role in population health planning


Current Projects

Evaluating the effectiveness of comprehensive primary health care in local communities (see website) – NH&MRC Project Grant
Investigators: Prof Fran Baum, Prof Ronald Labonté, Prof David Sanders, A/Prof David Legge, Dr Gwyn Jolley, Dr Angela Lawless, Dr Michael Bentley
Partners: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, SHineSA, GP Plus services, Southern Aboriginal health team 

Collaboration between Medicare Locals and Local Health Networks to facilitate the provision of primary health care in South Australia. Link for Medicare Local Survey Participants Information Sheet Online Survey (DOC 246KB) .
Investigators: Dr Sara Javanparast, Prof Fran Baum, Dr Angela Lawless, Professor Richard Reed, Dr Toby Freeman, Prof Michael Kidd, Professor Jeff Fuller

Selected Publications

  • Baum F., Lawless A., Fisher A., (2012) Australian Experiences. In Dennis Raphael (Ed) Tackling Health Inequalities in Canada: Lessons from International Experiences, Canadian Scholars Press Inc.: Toronto, Inc. PP 63-92.  (Book Chapter)
  • Baum, F., Legge, D., Freeman, T., Lawless, A., Labonte, R., & Jolley, G. (2013). The potential for multi-disciplinary primary health care services to take action on the social determinants of health: actions and constraints. BMC Public Health, 13, 460.
  • Baum, F., Freeman, T., Lawless, A., & Jolley, G. (2012). Community development - improving patient safety by enhancing the use of health services. Australian Family Physician, 41, 424-428.
  • Wiese, M., Jolley, G., Baum, F., Freeman, T., & Kidd, M. (2011). Australia’s systems of primary healthcare: The need for improved coordination and implications for Medicare Locals. Australian Family Physician, 40, 995-99. 
  • Freeman, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Labonte, R., Bentley, M., & Boffa, J. (2011). Reaching those with the greatest need: How Australian primary health care service managers, practitioners, and funders understand and respond to health inequity. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 17, 355-361. 
  • Freeman, T., Jolley, G., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Javanparast, S., & Labonte, R. (2013). Community Assessment workshops: A group method approach for gathering client experiences of health services. Health and Social Care in the Community, doi: 10.1111/hsc.12060.
  • Javanparast S., Baum F., Labonte R., Sanders D., Community Health Workers’ Perspectives on their contribution to rural health and wellbeing in Iran. American Journal of Public Health (2011), 101(12), p. 2287-2292.
  • Hurley C, Panagiotopoulos G, Tsianikas M, Newman L, Walker R (2013), ‘Access and acceptability of community-based services for older Greek migrants in Australia: user and provider perspectives', Health & Social Care in the Community, 21(2): 140-149. /abstract;jsessionid=3C9ECFC566CDB4CF37BFB40AF85F4C27.f02t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
  • Newman L., Tsianikas M., Panagiotopoulos G., Walker R., Hurley C. (2011), ‘The social support and service needs of Australia’s ageing Greek migrants: a pilot project, Modern Greek Studies Australia & New Zealand, 15, 287-306.
  • Javanparast S., Baum F., Scoping Review of the Literature: Primary Health Care in Middle East and North Africa region, March 2012, Research report submitted to the Middle East & North Africa Health Policy Forum.


Civil Society Project Report (DOCX 60KB)


Significant Past Projects

Placing Equity and Primary Prevention in the GP PLUS Health Care Strategy
Investigators: Dr Angela Lawless, Ms Catherine Hurley
Partners: SA Department of Health and Ageing

Comprehensive primary health care in local communities: how do general practitioners work with and perceive primary health care services directly funded by Government?
Investigators: Prof Fran Baum, Prof Michael Kidd

The impact of a Rapid Equity Focussed Health Impact Assessment (EFHIA) on local planning for afterhours care to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations
Investigators: Prof Fran Baum, Dr Angela Lawless
Partners: Liverpool-Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (UNSW), Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Improving Access to Community & Social Support Services in an Ageing Migrant Community in South Australia
Investigators: Dr Lareem Newman, Dr Ruth Walker, Mrs Catherine Hurley, Prof Michael Tsianikas

The contribution of Community Health Workers to the Implementation of Comprehensive Primary Health Care (part of the Global Health Research Initiative) – funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian International Development Agency, Health Canada, the International Development Research Centre, and the Public Health Agency of Canada
Investigators: Dr Sara Javanparast, Gholamreza Heidari, Prof Fran Baum
Partners: Boushehr University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Scoping Review of the Literature: Primary Health Care, Middle East and North Africa region – funded by the Middle East & North Africa Health Policy Forum
Investigators: Dr Sara Javanparast, Prof Fran Baum