Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Public Health &
Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales
* Adjunct in ‘People & Organisations’, Macquarie Graduate School of
Management, Macquarie University (Current)
* Research Projects Manager, NSW Centre for Health Records Linkage, Cancer
adviser on service quality improvement to the World Bank/HLSP 'Health VIII'
project in P.R.China.
Health Organisation (WHO) Consultant in Outcomes Research
Founder and inaugural Chairman, Australia Malaysia Health Industry Group (AMHIG)
* Member Executive Committee, Australian Health Industry Development Forum (AHIDF)
rapporteur for the UK Economic & Social Research Council
* Invited referee for the U.K. National Coordinating Centre for Research
Adviser on Health to the Economic and Budget Review Committee of the Parliament of Victoria
* Founding Director of Health Solutions Pty Ltd in association with the Victorian Hospitals
(Acting) , Deputy Regional
Director, & Co-ordinator
of Regional Planning Group, Health Department Victoria
* Senior Research Associate, NHMRC National Centre for Health Program Evaluation
* Academic Associate, Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne
* Member of numerous specialist committees,
including Chairman of Committee to Rationalise services at Royal Victorian
Eye & Ear and St. Vincent's Teaching Hospitals; St. Vincent's Hospital
(Vic.) Forward Planning Committee; Victorian Lithotripsy Advisory Committee;
Executive Committee Victorian Mental Health Research Executive; Technical
Advisory Committee on the Evaluation of the St. Nicholas Project; Working
Party on the proposed Relocation of Prince Henry's Hospital (Vic.)
▪ PhD in
Cognitive Psychology, Faculty of Science,
Monash University, 1981
Completed 'Measurement, Design and Analysis Methods for Health Outcomes Research',
Harvard School of Public Health, June 1999
Completed 'Introduction to Rasch measurement: Theory and Applications', conducted at
University of Illinois at Chicago,
▪ Certificate in Health Economics, Monash University Faculty of Economics
& University of
Melbourne Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, 1994
BSc Hons, Monash University 1976
Australian College of Health Service Executives
International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL)
International Health Economics Association
Society for Medical Decision Making (USA)
Society for Judgement and
Experience (in brief)
▪ Technical advisor on quality improvement for
the HVIII Rural Healthcare Project, HLSP/The World Bank, P.R.China
(2006/2007). The HVIII project aimed at improving the quality of rural
healthcare in P.R. China, which entailed strengthening existing facilities
and equipment infrastructure in health centres/hospitals; improving
capability of medical staff; developing uniform sets of standards;
establishing specific quality indicators; strengthening organisational
structure and managers ability to plan and evaluate.
WHO consultant in developing
health outcomes research methodologies (Malaysia,
2001), and developing evidence–based policy to improve population health (Fiji,
• Rapporteur on ‘Quality of life’ for the UK Economic and Social Research
• Invited referee for the U.K. National Co-ordinating Centre for Research
Capacity Development (2004)
health service research and development projects, including projects in
health outcome measurement; health program development; services planning;
health policy analysis; program research and evaluation; demography and
epidemiology; service need assessment; health service demand forecasting;
health status and quality of life measurement; health information systems;
health economics; health-related behaviour; training in health services
planning and evaluation.
Experienced in most areas of health status and health outcome assessment.
Acted as adviser
to the Centre for Health Program Evaluation, Graduate School of Business, Faculty of
Business and Economics, Monash University, on the development of health status measures as
guides to resource allocation.
Conducted research, planning and evaluation exercises in acute hospital care, psychiatric
services, aged care, domiciliary care, community health, disability and rehabilitation,
health promotion, community violence, AIDS, breast-cancer screening, and primary health
Developed epidemiological methods for assessing need and directing service development in
general hospitals, environmental health, mental health services, oncology, and palliative
Consultant to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission, and the National
Aboriginal Health Strategy Evaluation.
Australia's first practical training courses in health program evaluation
(Monash, 1992) and health outcomes measurement (UNSW, 1999).
service demand and planning models and a range of
health care decision tools including those currently
used for allocating the $4 Billion per year Commonwealth Disability Support
Pension (the 'Work Ability Tables'); Aboriginal
infrastructure funding (the 'Environmental Health Effects Scale'); and
medication compliance (the ‘Asthma Medication Adherence Questionnaire’).
Founded the Australia Malaysia Health Industry Group
(AMHIG) in 1996, a health business trade group representing 200+ government, university, and
commercial agencies, auspiced by the Health Ministers of
Australia and Malaysia.
<> Courses conducted directly
and/or via the Australian College of
Healthcare Executives or ACHSE (regular and ongoing):
o ‘How to plan and evaluate a
healthcare program in the era of evidence-based medicine and client-centred
o 'Measuring patient-centred health
outcomes: quality of life, functional status, and patient satisfaction’
o ‘Making better decisions: mistakes,
biases, irrational effects, and inspired genius!’
o ‘Designing a Valid Questionnaire’
o 'A suite of
methods for increasing program effectiveness'
<> Graduate program in 'Measurement of Quality of Life and Patient
Satisfaction' for the School of Public Health and Community Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney
<> Measuring Patient-Centred Outcomes in Community Care. Auspiced by the
Metropolitan Domiciliary Care Services, Adelaide, S.A. March, 2004
<> The development of health outcomes research, conducted for World Health
Organisation (WHO) to the Ministry of Health, Government of Malaysia (2001)
<> ‘Measurement of Quality of Life, Health Status, and Patient Satisfaction’
in Manizales, Colombia, a collaboration between the Catholic University of
Manizales, Colombia, S.A., and the School of Health Services Management,
University of New South Wales, Australia. April, 2000
<> International Workshop on Health Strategic Planning, in collaboration
with the Tropical Health Program of the Queensland Institute of Medical
Research and the University of Queensland
<> Health Program Evaluation, for the NHMRC National Centre for Health
Program Evaluation, Melbourne
<> WHO Health Systems Research, for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), IDP,
and the Institute of Public Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Books/ Presentations/ Papers
* 'The development
of an evaluation framework for injury surveillance systems'. Rebecca J
Mitchell, Ann M Williamson and Rod O'Connor. BMC Public Health, 2009,
Mistakes, Biases & Irrational Effects to Make Better Decisions'.
Invited presentation to "Strategies
for patient- centred healthcare excellence",
2ND ANNUAL Healthcare Operations Management. IBC
Asia Pty Ltd. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore. 29 – 31
* ‘Making better decisions: errors, lies, fickle emotions, and
inspired genius.' School of Public Health and
Community Medicine, Samuels Building,
Kensington Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney,
30 August 2008
* ‘Applying EBM’
(ie. RCTs) versus ‘Understanding and improving what happens’. Invited
presentation to ‘Myth-Busting for Improved Patient Care 2008 - Interactive
Consensus Day Workshop’ Friday 22 February 2008, Stamford Plaza Hotel,
* 'Development of an Evaluation
Framework for Injury Surveillance Systems'.
Mitchell R, Williamson A, O’Connor R. International Injury Prevention
conference, Mexico, 2008
* 'Making Decisions: Mistakes, biases,
irrational effects and inspired genius'. Invited presentation to 'Frontiers
in Healthcare Delivery', IIR Conferences, Citigate Hotel, Sydney, 24th &
25th October 2007
* ‘Why outcome measures are more important than level of evidence in
psychosocial care’. Invited speaker to ‘The Challenge of Research &
Supportive Care in Cancer’, Seminar on supportive care research and
translation of knowledge into practice, Victorian Ministerial Taskforce for
Cancer. Duxton Hotel, Melbourne 21 & 22 November 2005
* ‘Quality of life for
people with dementia in residential care’. Kanegae
S, Fleming R, Ehrlich F, O'Connor R. American
Public Health Association 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition,
Philadelphia PA, December 10-14, 2005
* ‘Measuring Quality of Life in Health’ (book), pub.
Churchill Livingston / Elsevier Science UK, June 2004
* ‘Quality of Life Measures in Aged Care’. Invited presentation to
‘Better Practice’ Conference, Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency
Ltd, Adelaide, April 2004
* ‘Measuring patient-centred health
outcomes: current trends’. Invited speaker to Annual Conference of
Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association, Sydney 3-5 December 2003.
* ‘What is a ‘dimension’? Rasch Analysis, Classical Test Theory, and the
role of criterion-related validity’ Health Outcomes 2003 - The Quest for
Practice Improvement. 9th Annual National Health Outcomes Conference,
Canberra, 20 - 21 August 2003
* ‘How to Improve the Health System: Ideas and Innovations’ Facilitator/
originator, seminar conducted by Australian College of Health Service
Executives (Sydney). 18 July, 2002.
* ‘Changing from Passive to Dynamic Measures: measuring health-related
behaviour to prevent as well as describe health outcomes’. Health Outcomes
2002 - Current Challenges and Future Frontiers. 8th Annual National Health
Outcomes Conference, Canberra, 17-18 July 2002
* 'Incorporating service quality and outcome measures into healthcare
funding systems', presentation to Inquiry into Public Hospital Funding,
Community Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate. 21 March
* Development of a questionnaire for estimating adherence
to asthma medication. R O'Connor, P Gibson, C Jenkins, C Mitchell and M Peters. TSANZ
Annual Scientific Meeting, 2000
* The Work Ability Tables as a measure of health outcomes.
1999 Health Outcomes Conference, Canberra,1999.
outcome quality: the importance of case-mix specific tools (to be presented). The
Tenth Casemix Conference in Australia. Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne 6-9
instruments to implement government and commercial decisions: work-related disability,
quality of life, and Aboriginal environmental health. 1998 Health Outcomes
Conference. Rydges Lakeside, Canberra 7- 8 August,1998
importance of using case-mix specific tools when measuring Health related Quality of Life.
Annual Conference of the Australian Health Economics Society, Sydney, July 1998
* Update on
health services in the South East Asia Region. Invited presentation to 'Effective
Rehabilitation - Managing Care'. Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Australia 28-30 May, 1998.
International Co-operation and Communications in Promoting Healthcare. Invited
presentation to plenary session of the 1997 Asian Healthcare Convention and National
Healthcare Conference & Exhibition Asian Healthcare Challenges Towards the 21st
Century. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 1997
Rehabilitation and Aged Care, Australia Malaysia Health Industry Group Seminar. Shangri-la
Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, August 1997.
* A Critique
of the AQoL. Invited critique on the Australian Quality of Life Instrument, or AQoL, to
the 1997 Conference of the Australian Health Economics Society, The University of
Melbourne, July 1997
* The Changing
Pattern of Diseases: How will it Impact our Hospitals. Invited presentation to plenary
session of the 1996 National Healthcare Conference Future Needs, Future
Resources. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 1996.
Opportunities in a Changing Healthcare sector. Invited presentation to the 4th Joint
Business Conference of the Australia-Malaysia and Malaysia-Australia Business Councils.
Sydney, June 1996.
Development and Application of Health Status Measures as Guides to Government Funding.
Invited presentation to the Health Systems Research Division, Public Health Institute,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 1995.
* Development of the health effects scale: a trial
instrument based on expert judgement for rating the effect of environmental factors on the
health of Aboriginal households, Working Paper 43, NHMRC National Centre for Health
Program Evaluation, 1995.
Priority Action Areas in Aboriginal Health. Invited paper, presented to the NSW Health
Services Association Annual Conference, 1995.
Better Decisions: Resource Allocation through the use of Expert Judgement. Presented to
Annual conference of Public Health Association of Australia, Adelaide. 1994.
* Issues in the Measurement of Health-related Quality of
Life, Working Paper 30, NHMRC National Centre for Health Program Evaluation, 1993.
Community Action and Preventive Health Care in developing areas: The Darwin Rural
Districts Women's Health Program. Prepared for Public Health Association as background
documents for the Australian Government delegation to the World Health Assembly on the
subject of Community Action for Health. 1993.
* Needs Based
Methods for Allocating Funds. Invited paper, presented to The Indigenous Australians
Shelter Conference, 1-3 November 1993, Brisbane, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
arising from a SIPO (Structure, Implementation, Process, and Outcome) approach to health
program evaluation. Paper given to the Health Evaluation Special Interest Group, Annual
Conference of the Australasian Evaluation Society, World Congress Centre, Melbourne, 1992.
Health-related Quality of Life Measures need Content Validity. Australian Health Review,
1992, 15 (2), 155-163.
* Issues in
the Measurement of Quality of life. Paper presented at the NHMRC National Centre for
Health Program Evaluation, 1991.
* Child Sexual Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Detection,
Working Paper 16, NHMRC National Centre for Health Program Evaluation,1991.
Hazard and Risk. Chairman's presentation to conference 'Pesticides: Hazard and Risk',
Public Health Association of Victoria, Wednesday 19 June, 1991, Ashley Ricketson Centre,
Caulfield General Medical Centre, 1991.
Methods: Getting started. Invited paper to the Vic. Research Special Interest Group of the
Australian College of Health Service Administrators, 1990.
Forecasting - Anticipating Needs is Not a Guessing Game. Paper presented at "Care
'88" Conference, World Trade Centre, Melbourne, 1988.
* DRGs and
Estimating Service Demand: A Tool for Appraising Hospital Roles? Proceedings of the Health
Services Strategies Conference 1987. The Victorian Hospitals' Association Limited. 1987.
Regionalisation - A Progress Report. Paper presented to Australian College of Health
Service Administrators Seminar on Regionalisation, 1986.
* Four Tools
Regional Directors Need. Health Department of Victoria Internal Report, 1986.
* A Framework
for planning the Roles of Hospitals. Health Department of Victoria Internal Report, 1985.
* The Report
of the Inquiry into the Method of Remuneration for Visiting Medical Staff at Public
Hospitals. Economic and Budget Review Committee, Parliament of Victoria, 1985 (O'Connor et
* A Method for
Establishing, Reviewing and Monitoring the Roles of Public Hospitals in Regions. Health
Commission of Victoria Internal Report, 1985.
Role Delineation. Health Commission of Victoria Internal Report, 1985.
* Area Health
Boards. Health Commission of Victoria Internal Report, 1985 (with R Scotton).
Dependency Systems: PAIS, Rush Medicus, and Royal Melbourne. Health Commission of Victoria
Internal Report, 1984.
Valley Health Services Planning Group Report. Volumes 1 and 2. Health Commission of
Victoria and New South Wales Department of Health, 1984 (with Maddox, Stuart, Parkinson,
* The Murray
Valley Health Study, 1983. Paper presented to the Department of Social and Preventative
Medicine, Monash University, 1983 (with Maddox).
of a Drink Driving Warning System. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on
Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Puerto Rico, 1983 (with Bodi and King).
and Field Testing of a Drink Driving Warning System. Road Traffic Authority, 1983. (with
Bodi, King, McDermott & Hughes).
* Staff and
Organisational Development: Participative Problem Solving. ROSTA Internal Report, 1982.
* Social Mix:
the method and advisability of integrating public and private housing. Housing Commission
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