I have worked in a range of clinical settings over the course of my career. Whilst I was completing my postgraduate degree, I worked in a supported accommodation facility for homeless adolescent women who were pregnant and/or parenting. This provided invaluable experience working with young adults in a setting which was both clinical and residential.
Since completing my Masters degree I have worked in private practice settings, community mental health and in an HIV/Sexual Health Clinic (The Albion Centre). My work here sees me provide individual evidence-based psychological therapy to clients with a range of presentations including, but not limited to drug and alcohol presentations, mood and anxiety disorders, psychotic presentations, personality disorders and adjustment disorders. In this setting I am also involved in the development and implementation of a safe sex education program for high schools, and various research and teaching projects.
I also provide private supervision for people engaged in the Clinical Registrar program through AHPRA.
B.Psych (Hons) - Macquarie University
M.Psych (Clin) - University of New South Wales
I am eligible for membership of the Australian Psychological Society, including its Clinical College.
I am a full member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA).
I am endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia in the area of Clinical Psychology and am approved as a Clinical Supervisor.
- Stigma in the context of mental health, substance abuse and HIV
My primary area of teaching is sexual health and chronic illness (specifically HIV).
Bulsara, SM, Begley, K, Smith, DE, Chan, DJ, Furner, V, Coote, KV, Hennessy, RM, Alperstein, DM, Price, A, Smith, M, Wyson, A & Wand, H 2019, 'The development of an HIV-specific complexity rating scale.', International Journal of STD and AIDS, vol. 30, no. 13.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Bulsara, SM, Wainberg, ML, Audet, CM & Newton-John, TRO 2019, 'Retention in HIV Care in Australia: The Perspectives of Clinicians and Clients, and the Impact of Medical and Psychosocial Comorbidity.', AIDS patient care and STDs, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 415-424.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Significant advances in our understanding and treatment of HIV have led to improvements in the medical management of the illness, as HIV infection has evolved from an acute to a chronic illness. Increasing our understanding of the medical and/or psychosocial comorbidities, which can interact to determine "clinical complexity" and impact HIV management, will further strengthen this process. Retention in care is a critical step of the HIV Treatment Cascade, which facilitates effective management of these comorbidities and their impact on HIV medical management. This study sought to build on literature regarding medical and/or psychosocial comorbidity that impacts retention in care, and it often leads to clinically complex presentations, by gaining the perspectives of people living with HIV (PLHIV), and medical and allied health clinicians in the field in Sydney, Australia. A total of 16 clinicians (medical doctors, nurses, clinical psychologists, and social workers) and 14 clients participated in a series of focus groups; they were asked to comment on the perceived barriers to retention and the potential solutions to overcome these. The results indicated a significant degree of overlap between clinician and client perspectives, and they identified "service-specific factors," "logistic/practical factors," "medical/physical factors," and "psychosocial factors" as potential barriers to retention. Results are reviewed in the context of similarities and differences in perspectives between clinicians and PLHIV, and limitations regarding the generalizability of findings are discussed. The broader context of comorbidity and clinical complexity is also examined.
Bulsara, SM, Wainberg, ML & Newton-John, TRO 2018, 'Predictors of Adult Retention in HIV Care: A Systematic Review.', AIDS and Behavior, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 752-764.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A systematic literature review was conducted to identify predictors of poor adult retention in HIV medical care in developed and developing countries. An electronic search was conducted with MEDLINE (OVID), PubMED, EBSCO, SCOPUS, and Cochrane databases, as well as manual searches. Original, quantitative, adult studies in English, published between 1995 and 2015 were included. Only those with a focus on predictors of retention in care were reported on. Of the 345 articles identified, thirty were included following an independent assessment by two raters. In developed countries, the most frequently cited predictors of poor retention were active substance use and demographic factors. In developing countries, physical health factors were most frequently associated with poor retention in care. The results from this review suggests primary concerns for poor retention include substance use and physical health factors. Other psychosocial factors, such as psychiatric illness and social/welfare factors, were also found to be relevant.