Karen Ciszek

RN2, RM, GradCert HealthRsch

Karen Ciszen

Karen is a research nurse in the Academic Unit of General Practice. She is the data and research manager for the ACT Kindergarten Health Check (KHC) Program. She works closely with the Canberra Health Services School Health team to ensure the annual health check program runs as smoothly as possible.

She has extensive experience in a variety of clinical nursing roles prior to becoming a site coordinator in phase two and three clinical trials and then joined the AUGP in her current role in 2001.

She has held two scholarships: Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development Program, completed in 2011; and, Graduate Certificate in Health Research completed in 2019. She was also privileged to have been awarded the individual prize in Collaboration-Business as Usual at the 2021 ACT Health Director-General’s Awards.

Area of Professional Interest

Karen’s primary area of interest is enhancing child health surveillance and reporting, specifically the Kindergarten Health Check program. 

Current Research Projects

Adaption and inclusion of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) section in the KHC questionnaire from 2020 using validated survey tools developed in the USA by the Center for Youth Wellness.  This involved extensive consultation with stakeholders in various divisions in the ACT Government. There have also been many changes to the processes and procedures in the workflow arrangements.  Evaluation of the feasibility of the inclusion of ACEs is underway and is part of the broader planning for the evaluation of the whole program. 

Recent Publications & conferences

O’Brien K, Agostino J, Ciszek K, Douglas KA. Parents' perceptions of their child's weight in children in their first year of primary school: a mixed methods analysis of an Australian cross-sectional (complete enumeration) study. International Journal of Obesity 2022. doi:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-022-01068-5

O'Brien K, Agostino J, Ciszek K, Douglas KA: Physical activity and risk of behavioural and mental health disorders in kindergarten children: analysis of a series of cross-sectional complete enumeration (census) surveys. BMJ Open 2020, 10:e034847. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034847

O'Brien K, Agostino J, Ciszek K, Douglas KA: Poster:  Parents’ perceptions of their child’s weight among Kindergarten children. In: Australasian Association for Academic Primary Care Annual Research Conference 2020. Online; 2020.

O'Brien K, Agostino J, Ciszek K, Douglas KA: Risk of behavioural and mental health disorders and developmental delay in Kindergarten boys and girls. In: CHARM 2019. Canberra Hospital, Canberra ACT 2019.

O'Brien K, Agostino, J.,Ciszek, K.,Douglas, K.: Physical activity and risk of behavioural and mental health disorders in ACT Kindergarten children. In: GP18. Gold Coast Queensland; 2018.

O'Neill R, Agostino, J.,Ciszek, K.: Kindy health check: ACT children’s mental health risk and associations with socioeconomic disadvantage. In: CHARM - Canberra Health Annual Research Meeting. Auditorium Canberra Hospital Garran ACT; 2017.

Reid K, Agostino, J., Douglas, K., Ciszek, K. : Poster abstract:  Kindy health check - what can it tell us about overweight and obesity in children the ACT? . In: Primary Health Care Research Conference 2016. National Convention Centre, Canberra ACT; 2016.

O’Connor BA, Douglas, K.A.,  Ciszek, K., Yang, Z., Phung, H. : Are the scales moving for ACT primary school children?: Comparison of children’s BMI in Kindergarten and Year 6. In: PHCRIS 2016 - Primary Health Care Research Conference National Convention Centre, Canberra ACT  2016.

Ciszek K: Kindergarten Health Check - analysis and generation of clinical data; information collection  relevant for GPs. In: Paediatric Round Table - Capital Health Network 2016. Peninsula Room, National Museum of Australia; 2016.

Astle V, Broom M, Todd DA, Charles B, Ringland C, Ciszek K, Shadbolt B: Respiratory outcomes study (RESPOS) for preterm infants at primary school age. The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma 2015, 52(1):40-45.


Email: karen.ciszek@anu.edu.au  & karen.ciszek@act.gov.au
Phone:  +61 2 5124 4949
Location:  Canberra Hospital, Bdg 4, Level 2, Garran ACT 2605
Centre:  Academic Unit of General Practice

Page last updated on: 16 Feb 2022