Research Areas

School of Nursing

How can we prevent domestic violence and reduce its impact on health?

What can be done to prevent and reduce tobacco use?

How can we improve the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals at all ages?

What are the effective nursing care strategies for the unwell?

Major Research Areas

  • Smoking cessation and tobacco control:
    Our Research team has conducted the largest number of randomised controlled trials and other intervention studies on smoking cessation in this region with high impact publications internationally and policy impacts locally and regionally. We have been appointed as World Health Organisation temporary advisors or short-term consultants more than 10 times. We focus on non-pharmacological and brief interventions which are most cost effective and most affordable. We have trained more than 1,000 healthcare professionals and motivated more to help smokers quit. Our evaluation studies of tobacco control measures in Hong Kong can serve as successful examples for mainland China and elsewhere.

  • Health impact and prevention of violence:
    Our research focuses on the identification of family violence and the adverse impact of violence and abuse on survivors' physical and mental health, as demonstrated by self-reports (e.g. chronic pain, depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms), imaging (e.g. functional MRI), and biomarkers (e.g. telomerase activity). We have also developed and implemented a research programme on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of family violence over the last two decades, with impact on global and local policy, practice, education and research.

  • Maternal and child health:
    The Maternal and Child Health research programme is focused on research that can identify health risk factors among women, children and families to promote their health and well-being. Investigators are conducting interdisciplinary, public health research using a life course approach that integrates theories and knowledge from nursing, public health, psychology and biological sciences to identify and respond to the early antecedents of adverse health outcomes. This research is establishing the evidence base to prevent or ameliorate the health conditions including infectious disease in infancy, infant nutrition, childhood obesity, paediatric cancer, scoliosis, postnatal depression, parental stress and coping, and family violence.

  • Quality of life:
    The development of health-related quality of life dates back to the 1960s. Since then, the measurement of health-related quality of life has made a major impact on the evaluation of healthcare and medical interventions. Our research focuses on ensuring measurement tools for health-related quality of life are adequately assessed before they are used in practice. This includes the development of assessment methods (e.g. modification of Cronbach's alpha when there are inconsistent responses), and cultural adaptation of tools (e.g. SF-12, PedsQLTM, and FLIC), with immense application in research and practice.

  • Psycho-oncology:
    Our research focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of psychological interventions for childhood cancer and survivors with the aim of enhancing their quality of life. We also examine how children cope with cancer, which is an essential prerequisite for the design of effective psychological interventions to help them ease the burden of cancer treatment. Additionally, we explore the risk perceptions, the behaviour and attitudes related to smoking of current smoking cancer patients, which is crucial for the design of an effective smoking cessation intervention that can help them achieve smoking abstinence and a lower level of relapse.

  • Elderly health promotion:
    Our research focuses on elderly health promotion through the primary, secondary and tertiary preventions. Primary preventions include reduction of illnesses through healthy lifestyle, such as increasing physical activity and reduction of salt intake. Secondary preventions include early detection of chronic illnesses, such as screening for diabetes and dementia in a community setting. Tertiary preventions include self-management of chronic illnesses. We actively involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with other professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, social workers, and psychologists. With advancements in information technology, we also apply information technology (e.g. mobile Apps) in health promotion programmes.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor

Dr D.Y.T. Fong
Tel: 3917 6645
Fax: 2872 6079
Email: dytfong@hku.hk