Research Cluster - Community Service in Practice & Service (CHiPS)


Research with the CHiPS Cluster is service and practice driven, whereby needs associated through community service and practice is identified. Our research will not only be informed by practice but will also be tested providing an evidence base which can be used appropriately within our service provision. CHiPS research links in with the Health Conditions and Cancer Psychology’s community model, as well as focuses on psychological application, health, and outcomes. CHiPS will focus more on grass roots physical and mental health psychology practice (Cancer, pre-diabetes, health conditions, AoD), treatment outcome research (Wellbeing group therapy, AoD group therapy), and the efficacy of services (e.g., support for support groups research project, Army wellbeing course).


Don Baken - Manawatu
Shane Harvey - Manawatu
Sara Joice - Manawatu
Kirsty Ross - Manawatu
Christine Stephens - Manawatu
Hukarere Valentine - Manawatu
Paul Merrick - Auckland

Mission & Goals


To be the hub for Community Service and Practice Driven Research


  • Leader in practice based/treatment outcome research: Being the cluster that community agencies like MidCentral, CCN, NZDF, CYFS, ACC, etc go to for applied research aimed at evaluating programs and solving health based problems.
  • Leader in service delivery and innovation: Being nationally and internationally recognised for community practice & practice models.
  • To foster meaningful community & service based research. Research though this cluster informs practice and practice with clients, health professionals, and the community informs the cluster’s research agenda.

Project involvement

Cluster members collaborate with various agencies to conduct applied research. A sample of these include:

Members of the Cluster are part of the IMPACT (Improving Palliative Care Through Research) research group which is collaboration between Arohanui Hospice and Massey University. Through this collaboration two Master’s students have been supported with $5,000 scholarships. One student explored how family members/next of kin perceived, experienced and understood the experience of end-of-life (EOL) care for their elderly dependant living in an aged care residence. The other explored a similar question but the death was within Ward 25 at Palmerston North Hospital.

Cluster members have also been supervising students researching other practical questions relevant to provision of care within the MidCentral Health DHB. One of these has been a Master’s student looking at a pharmacy led intervention for people with Asthma within the Tararau District. Another student has been supported by MidCentral Health DHB to look at the support needs of families with a child on the Autistic Spectrum.

Another applied research stream includes the application of social-emotional skills in practice and emotion regulation. Cluster members are involved in projects investigating the social-emotional skills of teachers, therapists, doctors, and military trainers. To date projects have focused on understanding the nature of these skills and how they apply in practice. Future projects will continue to investigate these skills with other forms of practices (e.g., parenting), contexts, as well as investigate the impact of these skills on outcomes with client groups. Projects around emotion regulation has focused on measuring observable emotion regulation and interventions.

A final research stream includes treatment-outcome research. Projects have included investigating AoD programs with the military and DHBs, parenting interventions, the application of ACT, and social emotional skills.


Don Baken
BA(Hons), PhD, PGDipClinPsych

Shane T. Harvey
MSocSc, PGDipClinPsych, PhD Waik., MICP

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