Dr Karen Luetsch (UQ – School of Pharmacy)


Pharmacy services and programs can be regarded as complex interventions which are developed and implemented within the open, complex system of overall healthcare. Realist research considers matters of complexity and provides insights into what programs and interventions work, why and in which contexts.

Karen’s presentation will outline the basics of realist approaches to research and their application during a realist synthesis of medication reviews for people who have left hospitals by pharmacists in primary care settings. Come and find out what works for whom and why.

Speaker Bio

Karen’s career as a pharmacist started as a clinician and health service manager. She has worked as an educator, educational designer and team manager on behalf of NPSMedicineWise, Queensland Health and multiple NGOs in all healthcare settings to improve medication and patient safety. Facilitating interprofessional learning and behaviour change are some of her particular skills in reaching out to medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

Karen has now been teaching and researching within the Masters of Clinical Pharmacy program at UQ for 11 years, with a focus on advanced clinical skills, leadership and management and, research.  After attending a master’s course at Oxford University in ‘Realist Evaluation and Review’ Karen’s interest moved to applying realist logic to pharmacy practice and other health service research. Her understanding of realist approaches to research have made her a sought after investigator for grant applications.

Karen’s presentation will provide a short introduction to realist research and illustrate some of its approaches through discussion of a realist synthesis of medication reviews by pharmacists in primary care for people who have left hospital, which has recently been accepted for publication by BMJ Quality & Safety.

About Seminar Series

The School of Pharmacy Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate, masters and honours students.

Seminars are held on Fridays from 12pm–1pm in room 5034 in the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St Woolloongabba (next to TRI and the PA Hospital).

Confirmed 2021 seminars

Date Presenter
12-1pm, Friday 19 March
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)
Professor Paul Clarke, Director Diamantina Institute        
12-1pm, Friday 16 April
(Zoom only)
Associate Professor Francine Marques, Monash University     
12-1pm, Friday 23 April
(Zoom only)
Associate Professor Ben Colagiuri, Sydney University 
12-1pm, Friday 7 May
(Zoom only)
Dr Laurence Cheung, Curtin University
12-1pm, Friday 30 July
(location TBC)
Dr Gary Chan, UQ CYSUR
12-1pm, Friday 13 August
(Zoom only)
Professor Sanjay Garg, University of South Australia
12-1pm, Friday 3 September
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)
Associate Professor Michael Barras, UQ Pharmacy
12-1pm 10 September
(Online via Zoom)

Professor Josephine Forbes, Mater Research


12-1pm, Friday 17 September
(PACE R5034 and Zoom)

Professor Nigel McMillan, Program Director: Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University

12-1pm, Friday 24 September
(Location TBC)
Denuja Karunakaran, IMB Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), UQ


Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence, 20 Cornwall St, Woolloongabba OR Via Zoom; details TBC