Congratulations to Professor Reg Nixon from Flinders University and Dr Dannielle Post from the University of South Australia on their successful grant applications.


Making Cognitive Processing Therapy more effective

Professor Nixon from Flinders University’s College of Education, Psychology and Social Work has been awarded the 2018 Prabha Sheshadri Grant and will explore Improving the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Post-Traumatic Stress.

He plans on collaborating with a number of key groups and researchers both nationally and internationally including Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health in Melbourne and Dr Tara Galovski, Head of Women’s Health Science Division, National Centre for PTSD, Boston, USA.

“This project is about getting more out of current psychological therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). On average 50% of PTS sufferers, including veterans, are helped by evidence-based therapy like CPT however not all benefit with 20-30% dropout rates and approximately 50% still experiencing symptoms.

“This research builds on making CPT, which can get excellent results in many instances, more effective for more people. The project is innovative in that no one in Australia has modified and tested a PTS treatment in the way we propose.

“The pilot data is very positive – 83% completion rate and 84% of our sample achieving very positive outcomes. With this grant we can now take our research further. Ultimately the aim of the project is to offer clinicians a more evidence based method that they can use to flexibly deliver a protocol-driven therapy without diluting its efficacy.” Professor Nixon said.


Who cares for the carer?

Dr Dannielle Post wants to find out. She is the successful applicant of The Road Home project grant and with collaborators Assoc. Prof Gaynor Parfitt, Dr Amy Baker, Dr Jocelyn Kernot and Joep Van Agteren, will seek to Understand the relationship between health behaviours and physical and psychological wellbeing in carers of servicemen and women.

“Carers often put their own health and needs behind those of the people they care for, leaving them at risk of physical and mental health issues. Carers are also less likely to seek assistance for their own health needs.

“This project aims to identify the needs, habitual activity and health behaviours of carers of service men and women; understand which of these behaviours relate to carers’ physical and psychological wellbeing; and identify the barriers and enablers carers experience in attending their own health needs.

“The proposed research will be the first of its kind undertaken with carers of service men and women and include partners, parents and adult children. Using validated tools, we will assess carers’ physical health, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep habits, smoking, nutrition, alcohol intake and psychological wellbeing.

“We see the likely benefits of this research to be far reaching; and not just benefit the carers but also the servicemen and women that they care for. From a long-term perspective, we envisage the findings of this research could inform the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions and programs that seek to improve the health knowledge and skills of carers and empower them to take steps to improve their own health.” Dr Post said.

For funding information, please contact us on grants@hospitalresearch.com.au