My Research

For an up to date list of peer-reviewed publications… my institutional archive and Google Scholar are pretty good; Research Gate, ResearcherID, ORCID and my Sydney University academic profile are accurate but slower to up date.

Active projects
SWASH: LBQ women’s health survey Improving co-morbid substance use & mental health treatment for LGBTI people UnLEASH: Understanding LBQ women’s experiences of alcohol, substance use & health
LBQ women & smoking Wellbeing, Health & Youth CRE Research Ethics
Completed projects
Emergency Contraception Chlamydia management Bacterial Vaginosis
Overseas acquired HIV Growing up with cancer (GUWC) Research Excellence in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (REACCH)
Cambodian Young Women’s Health Study (YWHS) Women & Premenstrual Stress Indigenous Resilience Project
Non-project based/student projects

SWASH: LBQ women’s health survey

SWASH is a repeated cross-sectional survey of the health and wellbeing of community-engaged lesbian, bisexual, queer (LBQ) and other non-heterosexual identifying women. It provides a snapshot, and allows us to track changes, in demographics including sexuality and gender; community engagement; sexual practice, sexual partners, relationships; cervical cancer/breast cancer/STI/HIV screening, HPV vaccine uptake; smoking, alcohol and other drugs use, help seeking for AOD use; mental health, psychological service access; general health, GP satisfaction; experience of DV and anti-LGBT violence & abuse.

SWASH began in Sydney in 1996 and has run every two years since, generating data from 600-1200 respondents at each iteration; it is the longest running periodic survey of LBQ women’s health in the world.

SWASH is run by a collaboration of researchers (Julie Mooney-Somers at Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney) and Rachel Deacon at (Langton Centre, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Central Clinical School, University of Sydney), and ACON Health (Australia’s largest community health organisation specialising in LGBTQ health).

WWASH – the same survey focused on LBQ women in Perth has run periodically since 2010 through collaborations with Curtin University and then the WA AIDS Council.

Labrys – the same survey formed the basis of a project on LBQ women’s health and wellbeing in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions of NSW, Australia. It ran in 2014/15 through a collaboration with ACON and Women’s Health, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.

SWASH Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast – the same survey focused on LBQ women and non-binary people in the Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast of New South ran in March 2018 through collaboration with ACON and ACON Northern Rivers.

Project Outputs:

*Peer review articles

Smoking prevalence among lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Sydney remains high: analysis of trends and correlates. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(4):546-554 doi: 10.1111/dar.12477.

The social and cultural significance of women’s sexual identities should guide health promotion; an analysis of the Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey. LGBT Health, 2(2): 162-168.

Pap smear rates among Australian community-attached lesbian and bisexual women: some good news but disparities persist. Sexual Health, 12(3): 249-256.

Do women use dental dams? Safer sex practices of lesbians and other women who have sex with women. Sexual Health, 7(2):165-69. (not mine but link for completeness)

The practical and symbolic purpose of dental dams in lesbian safer sex promotion. Sexual Health, 7(2):103-106. (not mine but link for completeness)

Women in contact with Sydney’s gay and lesbian community: Sexual identity, practice and HIV risks. AIDS Care, 14(2):193-202.(not mine but link for completeness)

* Reports and community outputs

SWASH 2020 report

SWASH 2018 report & video overview of findings

SWASH Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast 2018 report

SWASH 2016 report & Community factsheet

Labrys Report 2014/2015

SWASH 2014 report & “SWASH_NewsFlash_ 2016_flyer_ FINAL

SWASH 2012 report & “Health Check” Community feedback video

WWASH 2012 report

SWASH 2006/2008/2010 report & “Health Check” Community feedback

WWASH 2012 report

SWASH 2004 report (archived for completeness)

SWASH 1996-2000 report (archived for completeness)

UnLEASH: Understanding LBQ women’s Experiences of Alcohol, Substance use & Health. A pilot study for an online cohort UnLeash_Study_Logo

UnLEASH explores lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s (cisgender and transgender) health and wellbeing and the relationship with smoking, drinking and using drugs. UnLEASH will survey participants three times over one year so we can understand how women’s health and wellbeing, and the factors that shape health, change over time.

UnLEASH is led by Dr Sonja Memedovic at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, with Associate Professor Julie Mooney-Somers at Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney, Dr Nicola Black at  at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Professor Louisa Dagenhardt at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Dr Mohamed Hammoud and Associate Professor Garrett at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, Associate Professor Adam Bourne at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, and Dr Toby Lea at Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney.

Improving co-morbid substance use & mental health treatment for LGBTI people: learning from experiences of service users & clinicians.

New project, Content coming

LBQ women & smoking

A suite of work that began with a Cancer Institute NSW Evidence to Practice grant awarded to ACON Health to conduct a survey and focus groups to explore the smoking experiences and perspectives of lesbian, bisexual and queer women and then use these findings to develop a social marketing campaign targeting LBQ women. Check out the awesome Smoke Free Still Fierce campaign. Conducted in collaboration with Johann Klostee and Samar Haidar (ACON Health).

In 2017, MPhil candidate Ruth Praeger joined me to conduct a project on LBQ women and tobacco cessation.

Project Outputs:

The prevalence and factors associated with smoking among lesbian and bisexual women: Analysis of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey. International Journal of Drug Policy. 70: 54-60.

Changes in social networks are associated with lesbian, bisexual and queer women quitting smoking: an analysis of Australian survey data. Drug and Alcohol Review, 38: 76-81.

Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) Women’s Tobacco Reduction Project Community Report Online Survey Findings. Sydney: ACON Health, Cancer Institute NSW & Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), University of Sydney. ISBN: 978-1-74210-393-8

Smoking Cessation Programs for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex People: A Content-Based Systematic Review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research first published online August 31, 2016 doi:10.1093/ntr/ntw216

Smoking Cessation Programs for LGBTI People: A Systematic Review of Content and Effect (report)

Research Ethics

A program of work on research ethics that began with colleague Anna Olsen and I reviewing the case for standalone ethical guidelines for research with people who use alcohol and other drugs. The Except as required by law project grew from this; a small qualitative project designed to examine how researchers and HRECs understand the legal limits to confidentiality for research participants (particularly in AOD research). Except as required by law is funded by cross-discipline collaboration funding, Sydney School of Public Health. Conducted in collaboration with Anna Olsen, Ian Kerridge, Carolyn Day, Ian Maxwell and Cameron Stewart.

Anna and I have also been bringing together our expertise in qualitative research and research ethics to write and teach about research ethics in qualitative research.

Project Outputs:

Mooney-Somers, J & Olsen, A. Role Conflict and Questions of Rigour: Working with Community Researchers in Sexual Health. In Tolich, M & Iphofen, R (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics. Sage: London

‘Except as required by law’: Australian researchers’ legal rights and obligations regarding participant confidentiality. Research Ethics Monthly, 24 February 2017.

Ethical review and qualitative research competence: guidance for reviewers and applicants. Research Ethics, first published online 2016

Is there a problem with the status quo? Debating the need for standalone ethical guidelines for research with people who use alcohol and other drugs. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(2): 637–64.

Wellbeing, Health and Youth: Centre of Research Excellence in Adolescent Health

WH&Y is an interdisciplinary team of researchers, working together as the Centre of Research Excellence in Adolescent Health, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council. We are working with young people to reinvent teenage healthcare, removing the stigma and inequity that prevents them from getting the support they need, and championing their strengths, their insights and their leadership. I’m involved in Stream 1, examining the conditions, ethics and modalities of adolescent-engaged physical and behavioural health services research in a digital age.

Emergency Contraception (ECP, the morning after pill)

A program of work that grew out of an ARC Linkage study looking at Australian women’s understandings and experiences of contraception in relation to their sexual lives (led by Juliet Richters at UNSW, Alexandra Barratt and Kirsten Black at University of Sydney, and Deborah Bateson and Mary Stewart at Family Planning New South Wales).

Amber Lau (MPH student) and I conducted a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative literature on Australian women’s perceptions of emergency contraception (paper under review), and then secondary analysis of in-depth interviews with over 90 women across New South Wales to look at their experiences and perceptions of emergency contraception (ARC Linkage project data).

Project Outputs:

Enhancing use of emergency contraceptive pills: A systematic review of women’s attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and experiences in Australia. Health Care for Women International, 40:2, 174-195.

Chlamydia management

Australian Development and Operationalisation of Partner Therapy (ADOPT) is an evaluation of the implementation of Patient Delivered Partner Therapy for chlamydia in publicly funded sexual health services and family planning clinics in NSW and potential for delivery in general practice.

Funded by NSW Ministry of Health. Conducted by a collaboration of researchers (led by Kirby Institute for Infectious Diseases, UNSW) and practitioners at publicly funded sexual health services and family planning clinics.

Chlamydia testing and management at Australian family planning clinics was a pre-cursor to ADOPT. It used mixed methods to assess chlamydia testing, contact tracing and retesting practices of clinicians at Family Planning clinics in Australia, and determine enablers and barriers to chlamydia testing, contact tracing and retesting.

The chlamydia project was conducted by Rebecca Guy and Joanne Micallef (Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales); Deborah Bateson (Family Planning NSW); Caroline Harvey (Family Planning Queensland); Caroline Van Germert (Burnet Institute); Julie Mooney-Somers (Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney).

Project Outputs:

ADOPTing a new method of partner treatment for chlamydia in NSW: Findings from a pilot implementation program of patient delivered partner therapy. Sexual Health, 16(4) 332-339

Evaluation of Chlamydia Partner Notification Practices and Use of the “Let Them Know” Website by Family Planning Clinicians in Australia: Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(6):e173

Chlamydia testing and management at Australian Family Planning Clinics Report. Sydney: The Kirby Institute, UNSW

Increasing repeat chlamydia testing in Family Planning clinics depends on perception of value and availability of low-burden flexible reminder systems, presentation at Sexual Health conference

Patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia: Support and concern among doctors and nurses working in Australian Family Planning clinics, presentation at Sexual Health conference

Bacterial Vaginosis

A program of work led by Jade Bilardi at Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic exploring women’s experiences of Bacterial Vaginosis (the most common vaginal condition affecting women of childbearing age). Collaborators include researchers and clinicians: Cat Bradshaw, Sandra Walker, Meredith Temple-Smith, Ruth McNair, Clare Bellhouse, and Chris Fairley. Running since 2010.

Project Outputs:

Women view key sexual behaviours as the trigger for the onset and recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. PLOS One, 12(2): e0173637

Women’s views and experiences of the triggers for onset of bacterial vaginosis and factors associated with recurrence. PLOS One, 11(3): e0150272.

Women’s management of recurrent bacterial vaginosis and experiences of clinical care – A qualitative study. PLOS One, 11(3): e0151794.

The burden of bacterial vaginosis: Women’s experience and the psychosocial impact of living with recurrent bacterial vaginosis. PLoS One, 8(9): e74378.

Overseas acquired HIV

Project Outputs:

Living a life less ordinary”: Exploring the experiences of Australian men who have acquired HIV overseas. Sexual Health, 11(6):547-55.

HIV risk among Australian men travelling overseas: networks and context matter. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(6): 677-690.

“…not some young tourist”: The male overseas acquired HIV social research study, Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Perth, Western Australia.

Growing Up with Cancer (GUWC)

GUWC used research and creative practice to understand the experience of having cancer during adolescence and young adulthood. In 2010/2011 27 young people participated in interviews about the nature and extent of the impact of cancer on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Of these, 19 collaborated with an artist or worked on their own to produce a self-portrait that represented their experience of growing up and having cancer. In 2012/13 an exhibition of 22 self-portraits toured eight venues in Australia. The works are now on permanent loan to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre art collection. Check out the virtual exhibition.

GUWC also used interviews, focus groups and creative practice to understand the perspectives of parents, health care professionals and healthy young people.

Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, GUWC brought together researchers, artists, advocates and clinicians at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and CanTeen – the Australian organisation for young people living with cancer.

Project Outputs:

Project website and virtual exhibition of self-portraits

Growing Up with Cancer: Self-portraits by young people growing up with cancer. [Exhibition Catalogue] Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW. ISBN: 978 1 74210 290 0

The discursive construction of youth cancer: findings from creative methods research with healthy young people“. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 10(3):427-36

Caring for Young People with Cancer: Practical implications of qualitative engagement with cancer survivors by members of the multidisciplinary team“. Australian Journal of Cancer Nursing, 15(2): 39-42

Parents as Advocates for the Psychosocial Survival of Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer“. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(4): 872-881

Growing up with cancer: Accommodating the effects of cancer into young people’s social lives“. Journal of Paediatric Oncology Nursing, 30 (6): 311 -319

What’s it like having to deal with cancer AND with growing up? Link Magazine. CanTeen: Sydney

Research Excellence in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health

REACCH was an NHMRC funded Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health designed to develop and implement a clinical research program, focused on blood borne viral and sexually transmitted infections, through Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services.

CIs: John Kaldor, James Ward, Greg Dore, Basil Donovan, Dea Delaney Thiele, Sophie Couzos, Jenny Hunt, David Scrimgeour. AIs: Julie Mooney Somers, Mark Saunders, Peter Waples-Crowe, and Sid Williams.

Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services: Nunkawarrin Yunti, Adelaide, South Australia; Goondir Aboriginal Health Service, Dalby, Queensland; Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Melbourne, VIC; and Western Sydney Aboriginal Medical Service, Sydney, NSW

Background on the study from the Kriby Institute, University of New South Wales.

Project Outputs:

[work in progress]

Cambodian Young Women’s Health Study (YWHS)

A multidisciplinary study that included epidemiological and qualitative research on prevalence and incidence of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and human papillomavirus (HPV), rates of drug use including amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and the cultural mediators of risk and preventive behaviour among young women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working in the sex and entertainment service sectors. The qualitative component was a collaboration between CWDA, a small, women-run NGO, and the NCHADS. Using a community participatory approach, CWDA staff and members of the affected community are participating in the development and conduct of the qualitative research.

The project was conducted by Kim Page, Ellen Stein, Marie-Claude Couture and Jennifer Evans (Centre for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California San Francisco); Tooru Nemoto (Public Health Institute, California); Pisith Phlong (Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh); Saphonn Vonthanak, Mean Chhi Vun, Neth San Sothy (National Center for HIV, AIDS, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS) Cambodia); Serey Phal (Cambodian Women’s Development Association (CWDA)); John Kaldor and Lisa Maher (Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales); and Julie Mooney-Somers (Values, Ethcis and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney).

Background on the study from the project leaders at the University of California, San Fransisco and the Cambodian research partners, National Centre for HIV, Dermatology and STI (NCHADS).

Project Outputs:

Conflicting rights: How the prohibition of human trafficking and sexual exploitation infringes the right to health of female sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia“. Health and Human Rights Journal, 17(1): 102-113.

Sex work and HIV in Cambodia: trajectories of risk and disease in two cohorts of high-risk young women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia“. BMJ Open, 3:e003095.

Condom negotiation across different relationship types by young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia“. Global Public Health, 8(3):270-83

Selling sex in unsafe spaces: Sex work risk environments in Phnom Penh, Cambodia“. Harm Reduction Journal, 20;8(1):30

Amphetamine-type stimulant use and HIV/STI risk behaviour among young female sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia“. International Journal of Drug Policy, 22: 203–209

Indigenous Resilience Project

Project Outputs:

Through our eyes: How Indigenous young people protect themselves against sexually transmitted and blood borne infections“. [Community Poster] National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

Through our eyes: Why Indigenous young people look after their health and protect themselves from sexually transmitted and blood borne infections. [Community Poster] National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

Sexual risk and health care seeking behaviour in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in north QueenslandSexual Health, 12(3): 194-199.

Young Indigenous Australians’ sexually transmitted infection prevention practices: A Community-based Participatory Research project. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 12(6): 519-532.

Learning from the past: young Indigenous people’s accounts of blood-borne viral and sexually transmitted infections as resilience narratives. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13(2): 173 – 186.

Enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people’s resilience to blood borne and sexually transmitted infections: Findings from a community-based participatory research project. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 20(3):195-201.

The Indigenous Resiliency Project: A worked example of community-based participatory research. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 20(7 & 8), 112–118.

Resilience to blood borne and sexually transmitted infections: Developing participatory action research with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal, 32(6): 5-8.

Sexual health through the eyes of Indigenous youth: Community-based participatory research with young Indigenous people in Townsville. National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW. ISBN: 978 0 7334 2834 0.

Indigenous Resiliency Project Participatory Action Research Component: A report on the Research Training and Development Workshop, Townsville, February 2008. National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW. ISBN: 978 0 7334 2647 6.

Women & Premenstrual Stress

Project outputs:

A complex negotiation: Women’s experiences of naming and not naming premenstrual distress in couple relationships. Women & Health, 47(3): 57-77.

The Experience and Positioning of Affect in the Context of Intersubjectivity: The Case of Premenstrual Syndrome. International Journal of Critical Psychology (now Subjectivity), 21, 144-165.

Non-project based or student projects

Australian ‘gayborhoods’ and ‘lesborhoods’: a new method for estimating the number and prevalence of adult gay men and lesbian women living in each Australian postcode. International Journal of Geographical Information Science,

Hitting the white ceiling: structural racism and the educated black. Journal of Sociology,

‘“I see it everywhere…” young people’s exposure to sexual content in social media: a qualitative study of Australian adolescents’ social media use’ Sexual Health. 15(4):335-341

Bulldust, flat tyres and roadkill: A disorderly decolonising fieldwork journey through remote aboriginal and Torres strait islander Australia . Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2017(2):70-83.

Has the experience of Hepatitis C diagnosis improved over the last decade? An analysis of Canadian women’s experiences of diagnosis. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 48(1): 21-28.

The fallacy of the bolted horse: changing our thinking about mature-age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 44(1): 59-69

The future of conference posters: ‘hipster and geek!’. Medical Education, 49(5): 529-530.

Newcomers in a hazardous environment; a qualitative inquiry of sex worker vulnerability to HIV in Bali, Indonesia. BMC Public Health, 14:832

Australian’s Knowledge and Perceptions of Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genome Testing. Internal Medicine Journal, 44(1):27-31.

Manifesto on Art, Design and Social Science – Method as Speculative Event. Leonardo Transactions, 190-191.

At the intersection of marginalised identities: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s experiences of injecting drug use and hepatitis C seroconversion. Health and Social Care in the Community, 21(4):402-10

Sex as commodity: Single and partnered men’s subjectification as heterosexual men. Men and Masculinities, 12(3): 353-373.

What might the voices of the second generation tell us? Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review: Special Issue: Lesbian, gay, polyamorous and queer families, 7(1), 66-69.

Negotiating desire and sexual subjectivity: Narratives of young Lesbian Avengers. Sexualities, 3(2), 183-200.

LEADING COMMENT: Children of lesbian mothers: From the 1970s to the new millennium. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 15(2), 121-126.


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