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School of Health

Professor Shane Thomas

Email: sa.thomas@federation.edu.au
Position: Professor of Health Promotion
Discipline: Health

Overview

Professor Shane Thomas is a senior professor with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation and an international profile in his research areas. As Professor of Health Promotion he leads Federation’s research and engagement in this area. Shane also represents the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation in working strategically with national and international health communities. He provides policy, strategic and planning advice regarding research activities to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation and other appropriate senior colleagues within the University.

Professor Thomas came to Federation from his previous appointments as Foundation Professor and Director of the International Primary Health Care Research Institute in Shenzhen China and as an Honorary Professor in the Research School in Population Health at ANU, a role in which he continues. Professor Thomas is an Honorary Professor at Peking University. He has held senior leadership positions at Monash University, Sydney University and Adelaide University in the full time professoriate.

Shane recently won the Australian Psychological Society President’s 2019/2020 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology which is Australia’s highest award in this discipline. Shane is also a former Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University and he has also received awards from the Australian, Chinese and Saudi governments for distinguished contributions to health and human services research and innovation.

Shane has been a Chief and Principal Investigator on academic competitive grants to the value of $A66.950 million and a further A$70 million in commercial activity.

Qualifications

  • PLD, Business, Harvard University Business School
  • PhD Psychology, University of Melbourne
  • Dip Public Policy, University of Melbourne
  • BA (Hons) Psychology, University of Melbourne

Professional associations and affiliations

  • Honorary Professor, Peking University
  • Honorary Professor, Australian National University
  • Fellow, College of Health Psychology, Australian Psychological Society
  • Member, Australian Psychological Society

Research higher degree supervisions

Professor Thomas has supervised 50 PhD students to the successful completion of their degrees. Recent completed PhD supervisions include:

  • Dr Maria Alexandris. A Study of the Role of Connectedness in Supporting Young People's Housing Security.
  • Dr Fares Ayedh Alshammari. Hospital managers’ perception of the implementation of electronic health records in Saudi Arabia public hospitals
  • Dr Abdulrahman Khalaf Alanazi. Measurement of inpatient experiences and satisfaction with Saudi public hospital care using a standardised tool and
  • Dr Mohammed Hassan Almasabi. The impact of accreditation on quality of care in accredited public hospitals in Saudi Arabia : a mixed methods study
  • Dr Mohammed Ratoubi Alanazi. Safety culture, perceived organizational support, and quality of healthcare : the views of nurses and patients in Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Wadi Alonazi. Applying key performance indicators to evaluate health care service outcomes.
  • Dr Fahd Mohammed K Alonazy. The perceptions of quality managers and quality coordinators about the implementation of critical success factors of total quality management in general hospitals in Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Anna Kristina Chapman. An Examination of the Effectiveness of Psychological Interventions for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in China
  • Dr Na Chen. A study of adverse events in Chinese hospitals
  • Dr Marina Kunin . The 2009/A/H1N1 pandemic in Australia, Israel and England : a qualitative study in general practice

Professor Thomas is available for PhD supervision.

Research interests

Professor Thomas’ areas of research focus are:

  • Health and human services user experience and quality improvement
  • Chronic illness management
  • Behaviour Change
  • Behavioural addiction and problem gambling

Shane pursues a research agenda that is characterised by the creation of measurable improvements to the circumstances of the participants. His work spans three domains.

Chronic Illness management

In the Chronic Illness management and Behaviour Change domains, Shane is leading several international research and development programs. The Happy Life Club is an innovative health care and research program that uses doctor and nurse coaches to help patients better manage their chronic illnesses, especially diabetes and heart health and to promote health and well-being. The program is based upon an intensively researched behaviour change technique, Motivational Interviewing.

The Chinese version of the Club is a partnership between the Fengtai District Government, the Beijing Government, Professor Thomas’ team and Peking University. The Happy Life Club won the Chinese National Health award. Professor Thomas is a co-Chief Investigator on this project with Professor Colette Browning. Professor Thomas and his colleagues at Federation University, Monash University, Peking University and commercial partners including Well Aware are currently introducing it into the Australian Primary Health Care System.

Behavioural Addiction and Problem Gambling

Professor Thomas is an expert in behavioural addictions and problem gambling. He is a foundation member of the United Kingdom Behavioural Addiction Network. Behavioural addictions form a key part of the growing recognition of the importance of mental health issues in the global community.  Professor Thomas recently participated in the provision of advice to the UK government with two of his Royal College of Psychiatry colleagues concerning the treatment of problem gambling and behavioural addictions. He is leading behavioural addictions work in the UK and Australia. Professor Thomas led the development of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s Problem Gambling Treatment Guidelines which have been adopted for use in Australia, UK, US, Korea and other jurisdictions.

Health and Human Services

Professor Thomas co- developed the Work Ability Tables system which was used for 10 years by the Australian Government to determine eligibility for the Australian Disability Support Pension. The value of the pensions and benefits they were allocated over that period exceeded AUD $50 billion. The introduction of the Work Ability Tables was a key innovation in how the Australian government dealt with Australian disability pensioners. It also resulted in major reductions in contested pension determinations. The Work Ability Tables introduced for the first time, real avenues for those with psychological and mental health disabilities to receive the Disability Support Pension and other supports.

Awards

  • Recipient of the President of the Australian Psychological Society’s 2019/20 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology,
  • People’s Republic of China Ministry of Health National Innovation Award for the Happy Life Club Chronic Illness Management program,
  • Saudi Ministry for Health commendation for health system user experience studies,
  • Australian Community and Disability Services Ministers Advisory Council commendation for the development of Juvenile Justice Performance Indicators,
  • Australian Department of Social Security commendation for development of the Work Ability Disability Support Pension assessment tool
  • UAE government for contribution to the Institute of Applied Technology Fatima development.

Recent refereed publications

Books

Polgar, S. & Thomas, S.A. (2019). Introduction to research in the health sciences (7th edition), London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Polgar S & Thomas, S.A. (2021). Introducción a la investigación en ciencias de la salud (7th  edicion) Madrid: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Refereed book chapters and refereed monographs

Browning, C., Davis, J., & Thomas, S.A. (2017). Primary Health Care and Older People. In K. O'Loughlin, C. Browning, & H. Kendig (Eds.), Ageing in Australia: Challenges and Opportunities (pp. 225-237). New York: Springer-Verlag New York.

Thomas, S. A., Browning, C. J., Qiu, Z., Chapman, A., & Liu, S. (Eds.). (2020). Chronic Illness and Ageing in China. Zurich: Frontiers Media.

Refereed articles

Bowden-Jones, H., Hook, R.W., Grant, J.E. Ioannidis, K., Corazza, O., Fineberg, N.A, Singer, B., Roberts, A., Bethlehem, R., Dymond, S. Romero-Garcia, R. Robbins, T., Cortese, S., Thomas, S.A., Sahakian, B.J., Dowling, N.A., Chamberlain, S.R. (2021, in press). Gambling Disorder in the United Kingdom: key research priorities and the urgent need for independent research funding. Lancet Psychiatry.

Browning, C.J., & Thomas, S.A. (2020). Challenges of providing collaborative care for comorbid depression and hypertension in low resource settings in China. Int Psychogeriatr, 32(12), 1405-1407. doi:10.1017/s1041610220001465

Dowling, N. A., Francis, K. L., Dixon, R., Merkouris, S. S., Thomas, S. A., Frydenberg, E., & Jackson, A. C. (2020). "It Runs in Your Blood": Reflections from Treatment Seeking Gamblers on Their Family History of Gambling. J Gambl Stud. doi:10.1007/s10899-020-09959-w

Thomas, S. A., Qiu, Z., Chapman, A., Liu, S., & Browning, C. J. (2020). Editorial: Chronic Illness and Ageing in China. Front Public Health, 8, 104. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2020.00104

Browning, C. J., Qiu, Z., Yang, H., Zhang, T., & Thomas, S. A. (2019). Food, Eating, and Happy Aging: The Perceptions of Older Chinese People. Front Public Health, 7, 73. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00073

Rao, X., Lai, J., Wu, H., Li, Y., Xu, X., Browning, C. J., & Thomas, S. A. (2020). The Development of a Competency Assessment Standard for General Practitioners in China. Front Public Health, 8, 23. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2020.00023

Sun, W., Li, Y., Hu, Y., Rao, X., Xu, X., Browning, C. J., & Thomas, S. A. (2019). Perspectives on the Training of Chinese Primary Health Care Physicians to Reduce Chronic Illnesses and Their Burden. Front Public Health, 7, 168. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00168

Thomas, S.A., Rao, X., Xu, X. & Browning, C.J. 2021, in press. Focus Group Research Methods for General Practice Research. Family Medicine and Community Health.

Chapman, A., Browning, C. J., Enticott, J. C., Yang, H., Liu, S., Zhang, T., & Thomas, S. A. (2018). Effect of a Health Coach Intervention for the Management of Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in China: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Front Public Health, 6, 252. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2018.00252

Dowling, N. A., Ewin, C., Youssef, G. J., Merkouris, S. S., Suomi, A., Thomas, S. A., & Jackson, A. C. (2018). Problem gambling and family violence: Findings from a population-representative study. J Behav Addict, 7(3), 806-813. doi:10.1556/2006.7.2018.74

Dowling, N. A., Shandley, K. A., Oldenhof, E., Affleck, J. M., Youssef, G. J., Frydenberg, E., Thomas, S. A. & Jackson, A. C. 2017. The intergenerational transmission of at-risk/problem gambling: The moderating role of parenting practices. Am J Addict, 26, 707-712.

Subramaniam, M., Satghare, P., Vaingankar, J. A., Picco, L., Browning, C. J., Chong, S. A., & Thomas, S. A. (2017). Responsible gambling among older adults: a qualitative exploration. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1), 124. doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1282-6

Suomi, A., Dowling, N. A., Thomas, S.A, Abbott, M., Bellringer, M., Battersby, M., . . . Jackson, A. C. (2019). Patterns of Family and Intimate Partner Violence in Problem Gamblers. J Gambl Stud, 35(2), 465-484. doi:10.1007/s10899-018-9768-9

Thomas, S. A., Yang, H., Ren, Y. P., Chapman, A., Rao, X., & Browning, C. J. (2018, in press accepted March 26). Conducting systematic reviews of research for primary health care. Chinese Journal of General Practice, 21.

Subramaniam, M., Chong, S. A., Satghare, P., Browning, C. J., & Thomas, S.A. (2017). Gambling and family: A two-way relationship. J Behav Addict, 6(4), 689-698. doi:10.1556/2006.6.2017.082

Subramaniam, M., Chong, S. A., Browning, C., & Thomas, S.A. (2017). Cognitive distortions among older adult gamblers in an Asian context. PLoS One, 12(5), e0178036. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178036

Dowling, N. A., Shandley, K. A., Oldenhof, E., Affleck, J. M., Youssef, G. J., Frydenberg, E., Thomas, S.A., Jackson, A. C. (2017). The intergenerational transmission of at-risk/problem gambling: The moderating role of parenting practices. Am J Addict, 26(7), 707-712. doi:10.1111/ajad.12599

Dowling, N. A., Oldenhof, E., Shandley, K., Youssef, G. J., Vasiliadis, S., Thomas, S. A., Frydenberg, E., Jackson, A. C. (2018). The intergenerational transmission of problem gambling: The mediating role of offspring gambling expectancies and motives. Addict Behav, 77, 16-20. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.003

Browning, C. J., Enticott, J. C., Thomas, S. A., & Kendig, H. (2017). Trajectories of ageing well among older Australians: a 16-year longitudinal study. Ageing and Society, 22. doi:10.1017/S0144686X17000162

Bowden-Jones, H., Drummond, C., & Thomas, S. A. (2017). Rapid evidence review for evidence based treatment of gambling disorder. London: Royal College of Psychiatry https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/members/faculties/addictions-psychiatry/addictions-resources-for-specialists-rapid-evidence-for-gambling.pdf?sfvrsn=736e144a_2

Merkouris, S. S., Thomas, S. A., Browning, C. J., & Dowling, N. A. (2016). Predictors of outcomes of psychological treatments for disordered gambling: A systematic review. Clin Psychol Rev, 48, 7-31. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2016.06.004

Dowling, N., Suomi, A., Jackson, A., Lavis, T., Patford, J., Cockman, S., Thomas, S.A., Bellringer, M. Koziol-Mclain, J., Battersby, M. Harvey,P. & Abbott, M. (2016). Problem Gambling and Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Trauma Violence Abuse, 17(1), 43-61. doi:10.1177/1524838014561269

Browning, C.J., Thomas, S.A., Kendig, H. & Ory, M.G. (2016). Healthy Ageing In N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geropsychology. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Thomas, S.A., Browning, C.J.,  (2016). Burden of Disease. In N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geropsychology. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Browning, C.J., Chapman, A., Yang, H., Liu, S., Zhang, T., Enticott, J. C., & Thomas, S. A. (2016). Management of type 2 diabetes in China: the Happy Life Club, a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial using health coaches. BMJ Open, 6(3), e009319. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009319

Dowling, N.A., Shandley, K., Oldenhof, E., Youssef, G., Thomas, S.A., Frydenberg, E. & Jackson, A.C., The intergenerational transmission of problem gambling: The mediating role of parental psychopathology, Addictive Behaviors, (2016), doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.002

Chapman, A., Yang, H., Thomas, S. A., Searle, K., & Browning, C. (2016). Barriers and enablers to the delivery of psychological care in the management of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in China: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework. BMC Health Serv Res, 16, 106. doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1358-x

Liu S, Yang H, Browning, C.J. Thomas, S.A., Zhang, T., (2015). The influence of family responsibility on the self- management behavior of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus - the Happy Life Club™ , Chinese General Practice, 18 (13) : 1477 - 1482. doi: 10. 3969 /j. issn. 1007 - 9572. 2015. 13. 001

Liu S, Yang H, Browning, C.J. Thomas, S.A., Zhang, T., (2015). Process Analysis of Motivational Interviewing Intervention by Primary Health Care Setting Staff in China - the Happy Life Club™ , Chinese General Practice, 18 (19), 2241-2248. doi: 10. 3969 /j. issn. 1007 − 9572. 2015. 19. 001

Liu S, Yang H, Browning, C.J. Thomas, S.A., Zhang, T., (2015). The influence of social connectedness under traditional Chinese culture on the self- management behavior of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus - the Happy Life Club™ , Chinese General Practice, 18 (16), 1878-1883. doi: 10. 3969 /j. issn. 1007 - 9572. 2015. 16. 004

Browning, C. J., Yang, H., Zhang, T., Chapman, A., Liu, S., Enticott, J., & Thomas, S. A. (2015). Implementing a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program into China: Happy Life Club. Front Public Health, 3. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00181

Chapman, A., Liu, S., Merkouris, S., Enticott, J. C., Yang, H., Browning, C. J., & Thomas, S. A. (2015). Psychological interventions for the management of glycemic and psychological outcomes of type 2 diabetes mellitus in China: A systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Front Public Health, 3. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00252

Ren Y., Yang H., Browning C., Thomas S.A, & Liu M. (2015). Performance of screening tools in detecting major depressive disorder among patients with coronary heart disease: a systematic review. Med Sci Monit, 1(21), 646-53. doi: 10.12659/MSM.892537.

Subramaniam, M., Abdin, E., Shahwan, S., Vaingankar, J. A., Picco, L., Browning, C. J., Thomas, S.A., Chong, S. A. (2015). Culture and age influences upon gambling and problem gambling. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 1, 57-63. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2015.04.004

Subramaniam, M., Wang, P., Soh, P., Vaingankar, J. A., Chong, S. A., Browning, C. J., & Thomas, S. A. (2015). Prevalence and determinants of gambling disorder among older adults: a systematic review. Addict Behav, 41, 199-209. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.007

Thomas, S.A., Merkouris, S., Browning, C.J., Radermacher, H., Feldman, S., Enticott, J. & Jackson, A.C. (2015). The PROblem Gambling RESearch Study (PROGRESS) research protocol: A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of psychological interventions for problem gambling. BMJ Open, 2015 Nov 24;5(11):e009385. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009385.

Christensen D.R., Dowling N.A., Jackson A.C., Thomas SA. Gambling Participation and Problem Gambling Severity in a Stratified Random Survey: Findings from the Second Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania. J Gambl Stud. 2015 Dec;31(4):1317-35. doi: 10.1007/s10899-014-9495-9.

Kunin M., Engelhard D., Thomas S.A., Ashworth M., Piterman L., Challenges of the Pandemic Response in Primary Care during Pre-Vaccination Period: A Qualitative Study. Isr J Health Policy Res. 2015 Oct 15;4:32. doi: 10.1186/s13584-015-0028-5. eCollection 2015.