Wednesday, 27 April 2016

SPHPM profiles PhD candidate Oyun Chimeddamba

Oyun Chimeddamba has travelled from Mongolia to complete her PhD with us at SPHPM, and will be submitting her thesis by publication in a few months’ time. She has greatly enjoyed walking in neighbouring Fawkner Park, but is especially passionate about world history. She loves to spend her weekends swimming, walking and reading history.

Q: Can you summarise your thesis in two or three sentences?

My PhD examines three domains to addressing the noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden in Mongolia – prevalence, policy and practice for the control and prevention of NCDs in Mongolia. The study estimating the prevalence of obesity among the Mongolian adults provided trends and dynamics in the obesity prevalence over time. The policy analysis of the NCD-related policy documents demonstrated that the importance of a timely and coordinated response to the emerging burden of NCDs appears to be well recognised by the Government of Mongolia. The study on the implementation practice of the clinical guidelines on hypertension and diabetes identified several core drivers for the successful implementation.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

New research asks whether vaccination can prevent heart attacks and strokes for those at risk

SPHPM’s Centre for Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) is helping to coordinate a major national study testing whether a safe, one-off vaccination can help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The collaborative study will be assisted by Chief Investigator Professor Andrew Tonkin and by Dr Ingrid Hopper and will be based at Caulfield Hospital.

The Australian Study for the Prevention through Immunisation of Cardiovascular Events (AUSPICE) is recruiting 6,000 men and women aged 55 to 60 years across six centres in Newcastle, Gosford, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to be part of this pioneering research.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Celebrating John McNeil’s 30 years at the helm of SPHPM

Last week staff and students gathered together to celebrate Professor John McNeil’s milestone of 30 years as Head of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

Professor Michael Abramson, Deputy Head of the School delivered a speech reminiscing about the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM) the School's first incarnation and its modest office and small team when he came on board in the early 90s. He reflected on the impressive growth the School has seen in the last three decades as a result of Professor McNeil’s leadership and vision.

“Current staff might find it hard to believe that in those days, all 11 staff used to fit on half of the fourth floor of the old medical school building at the Alfred. Under John’s leadership, we have grown into a large School with over 350 staff, 160 PhD candidates, and 460 other postgraduate students at many sites,” Professor Michael Abramson said.

SPHPM is now one of the largest Schools of Public Health in the Asia Pacific Region, and has become a leader in the establishment, management and analysis of clinical registries in Australia, housing 22 clinical registries.

Injuries and their burden for Iranian construction workers

SPHPM’s Adjunct Research Fellow and Monash alumna Dr Narges Khanjani has co-authored new research that has found the burden of injuries for Iranian construction workers is remarkably high; estimating that 18,557 years of life lost were to death and disability in 2012.

This research, the first of its kind in Iran to determine the burden of injuries of insured construction workers, was published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Tackling the developing frontier of overviews of systematic reviews in research

Carole Lunny is with the Australasian Cochrane Centre and is completing her PhD in an exciting new field exploring the methodological issues in conducting overviews of systematic reviews.

Overviews of systematic reviews are a type of study that attempts to systematically retrieve and summarise the results of multiple systematic reviews into a single document. Overviews are of increasing importance to researchers and health care professionals seeking to provide evidence-based health care, because they provide systematically prepared summaries of the current state of research knowledge on the effectiveness of health care interventions.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Communiqué is key to transforming clinical practice in aged care

With an ever-increasing ageing population, the importance of improving the quality of health and aged care services is paramount. This year the Residential Aged Care Communiqué (RAC Communiqué) with an estimated readership of 30,000 people celebrates its tenth year of publication and has been credited with changing clinical practices in aged care according to latest findings.

New research from the Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM) at SPHPM has found that printed educational material (PEM) positively impacts on aged care professional practices in Australia.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

SPHPM study finds factors affecting father-to-infant attachment

Researchers from the Jean Hailes Research Unit (JHRU) at SPHPM have had their study on father-to-infant attachment at six months postpartum published in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology.

Research Fellow Dr Karen Wynter with colleagues Dr Heather Rowe, Dr Thach Tran and Professor Jane Fisher, led the analysis of data from 270 Victorian fathers recruited from the community during routine home visits by Maternal and Child Health nurses following the birth of their baby.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Closing the pregnancy-related information gap for women with rheumatoid arthritis

Associate Professor Ilana Ackerman from SPHPM has published an editorial in Rheumatology highlighting the evidence and resource gap for women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are planning a family.

RA is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation of the joints. Other parts of the body can also be affected. Inflammation causes the joints to become painful, hot and swollen and movement to be restricted. The disease has a significant personal and societal impact, in terms of disability, quality of life, work participation and healthcare costs. It is the second most common form of arthritis and affects nearly half a million Australians and an estimated 57 per cent of people with RA are women.

Monday, 11 April 2016

SPHPM study on the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in rural areas released

SPHPM researchers teamed up with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health on a new study that has been released today to coincide with World Parkinson’s Day. The landmark study uncovers the prevalence of Parkinson’s in a cluster of rural Victorian areas, highlighting the need for further research.

Researchers identified that four neighbouring local government areas in North West Victoria (Buloke, Horsham, Northern Grampians and Yarriambiack) are exceptions to the rule that Parkinson’s prevalence does not differ between urban and rural locations.

Friday, 8 April 2016

SPHPM study fills the research gap on major trauma survivor’s long-term recovery

Professor Belinda Gabbe, Head of Pre-hospital, Emergency and Trauma (PET) Research Unit at SPHPM, and her colleagues have had their research on outcomes for trauma survivors published as the feature article in the Annals of Surgery.

The population-based, longitudinal study describes the long-term return to work and function of major trauma patients treated in the Victorian trauma system.

Monday, 4 April 2016

SPHPM researchers part of global study to find ‘simple’ methods to prevent heart attacks and stroke

SPHPM researchers have led the Australian arm of a worldwide study on heart attack and stroke prevention published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.

Professor Christopher Reid, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at SPHPM and Co-Director of the Monash Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics (CCRET), and Senior Research Fellow John Varigos steered a team of Australian researchers from Monash and Curtin Universities and together they trialled three treatments to prevent heart attacks and strokes which have been proven inexpensive, simple and effective.

Professor Susan Davis announced President Elect of the International Menopause Society

SPHPM's Professor Susan Davis was recently elected to the role of President of the International Menopause Society (IMS). She will serve as President-Elect in the interim and will officially take office at the IMS World Congress in Vancouver in May 2018.

Professor Davis currently serves as a Board member of the IMS and Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the upcoming IMS World Congress on Menopause in Prague.

She was in Florence to speak at the 17th Congress of the International Society of Gynaecological Endocrinology when she received the news, and will also present at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Boston this week.

Professor Davis is a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Principal Research Fellow, Chair of Women’s Health and Director of the Women’s Health Research Program at SPHPM.

Friday, 1 April 2016

New mobile app has the potential to revolutionise asthma management in pregnancy

Asthma is a major public health concern, affecting one in 10 Australian adults. While there is no cure, asthma can be effectively managed. Asthma management is particularly important during pregnancy. The risk of pre-eclampsia, foetal growth restriction, preterm birth and the need for caesarean delivery are all recognised risk factors for asthmatics during pregnancy.

A group of multi-disciplinary researchers from SPHPM, the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety and Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering have developed a new telehealth program called MASTERY (management of asthma with supportive telehealth of respiratory function in pregnancy) and tested via a randomised controlled trial.


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