Dr Niki Edwards

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Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health

PhD (University of Queensland)

Dr Niki Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology. Prior to entering academia, she worked in health, disability and human services for more than 20 years. Dr Edwards’ research brings together clinical, governmental and academic perspectives to create a synthesised account of psychiatry, disability and disadvantage. Early in her career, Dr Edwards worked in psychiatric services as people with disabilities moved from institutional care/community development. Later, she worked clinically in hospital and rehabilitation settings and in public policy and public administration across government portfolios including family services, community services, disability and mental health. Drawing upon this experience, Dr Edwards has contributed to many Department of Defence and Trade Australia Award Fellowships for fellows from Africa, Cambodia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal and the Pacific in the intersecting areas of disability, gender and inclusive disaster management. After completing a Master of Public Administration at the University of Queensland in 2000 and a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Queensland in 2007 she now uses mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative designs) to research inclusion, diversity and gender equality. Her teaching responsibilities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels include social work and human services students, and past involvement in the education of medical students and trainee psychiatrists. Dr Edwards is one of the few accredited international trainers in the psychiatric assessment of adults with intellectual and developmental disability. She was appointed to the position of Coordinator of the Undergraduate Social Work Programs in 2012 - current. Key Research Interests * Restrictive practices and people with cognitive impairment, including challenges associated with the diagnosis of mental illness in adults with intellectual and developmental disability * Diversity and disability, including health and mental health and wellbeing of adults with cognitive impairment/adults with intellectual/developmental disability * Human rights and vulnerable people, including decision making issues in relation to people with disability * Gender and inclusive development, including disaster management * Medical education and clinical leadership challenges

Additional information

Dr Edwards enjoys teaching and connecting with community services supporting people with disabilities, their families and carers. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion and celebration of diversity. Current research projects Dr Edwards currently leads research examining psychotropic medication prescribed to adults with intellectual disability. She is undertaking research that examines the views of psychiatrists about adults with intellectual disability, including prescription of psychotropic medication to manage challenging behaviour (chemical restraint). Her research and teaching focuses on health and wellbeing, disability, human rights, gender and inclusive development/disaster management - locally, nationally and within the international context.

  • Polluted Identity and Obstructed Ecape: A Critical Analysis of the Therapeutic Alliance in a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Unit
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Julie King