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Professor Maree Hackett

Professor of Epidemiology
School of Nursing
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Maree is a Professor in Epidemiology at UCLan and is Program Head, Mental Health at The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, focusing on developing simple, cost effective strategies to prevent depression and significantly improve the outcome for people with chronic disease. This is in concordance with her current National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship (Level 2) Improving the identification, management and outcome of people with depression and other chronic diseases.

Professor Hackett’s seminal research on the frequency, predictors of and management strategies for post stroke depression, provide the single most important source informing international clinical guidelines for post stroke depression. She is the psychology working group lead for the Stroke Foundation, Australasian Living Stroke Guidelines.

Professor Hackett is co-principal investigator on the NHMRC-funded AFFINITY trial, and co-investigator on the government-funded sister trials FOCUS (UK), and EFFECTS trials (Sweden); collaboratively recruiting 5907 participants in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the UK and Sweden to determine the efficacy of fluoxetine in improving functional recovery after acute stroke. Professor Hackett is a co-investigator on the NIHR-funded Global Health Research Group on Improving Stroke Care in India (IMPROVISE) study which focuses on improving in-hospital care post stroke and the associated NIHR-funded IMPROVIS-ATION study to explore the potential for providing post-stroke psychosocial support in India. Prof Hackett was the chief investigator on the NHMRC-funded 'Getting it Right’ study validating a culturally adapted screening tool for depression for use with and by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, the adapted patient health questionnaire (aPHQ-9), with 500 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participants, from 10 urban, rural and remote primary health care services in 6 States and Territories in Australia. Results were presented to and discussed with participating communities and published in the Medical Journal of Australia. She was chief investigator on the NHMRC-funded ‘HeadPoST’ international, cluster randomised clinical trial designed to resolve uncertainty over the optimum head position in acute stroke, involving 110 hospitals in 9 countries which recruited >11,000 participants. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 2017. She also led the NHMRC-funded ‘Psychosocial Outcomes in Stroke (POISE)’ study (2008-12, n=441) conducted across 21 stroke units in New South Wales to completion with seven publications to date.