Skin Tissue Engineering Pty Ltd GA00061: Commenced 01/09/2016  – Completed

Research Team: Dr John Greenwood, Miss Bronwyn Dearman and Miss Amy Li.

‘Skin’ is a biotech company focused on delivering a paradigm shift in burn and wound care. The tissue culturing process will see the growth and production of a cultured composite skin (CCS) replacing the need for skin grafting.

The CCS process will replace skin grafts, the epidermal and dermal cells are first isolated from a small graft and then cultured before being seeded and grown in a biodegradable matrix which produces a bilayer skin ready for grafting over burn wounds for a 28 day period. The result of this following the 28 day cycle, will enable enough cultured composite skin (CCS) to cover an entire adult.

The University of Adelaide GA00102: Commenced 1/04/2019 – Completed

Research Team: Dr Diana Dorstyn, Associate Professor Rachel Roberts and Mr Peter Stewart.

This project aims to provide an evidence-based pathway to employment for individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) to help develop effective employment support services.

It builds on a pilot study previously conducted by the research team, which developed an online resource ‘Work and SCI’ for adults with traumatic spinal cord injury.

The resource will be supplemented with personalised counselling based on the principles of effective vocational rehabilitation, to be delivered by The Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of South Australia (PQSA).

A sample group of people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) will be provided with access to the ‘Work and SCI’ modules over a two month period, with half the sample also receiving assessment and coaching by a certified vocational counsellor.

Participants will be assessed using established measures, and the comparative effectiveness of the counselling and ‘Work and SCI’ interventions will be evaluated by comparing group changes in job-seeking behaviour.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network GA00046: Commenced 3/08/2017 – Completed

Research Team: Dr Ruth Marshall, Associate Professor Jillian Clark, Professor James Middleton, Professor Alan Cass, Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, Ms Denzil O’Brien and Elizabeth Dallaway.

This research consists of three complementary population-based studies.

The work involves the identification of demographics, injury causation and characteristics that impact functioning, health and wellbeing of people with spinal cord injury, and how these vary between Australian states and between countries.

The research aims to address the deficit of knowledge in relation to the ‘lived experience’ of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and provides insight how age, race and socioeconomic status influence the quality of life and broader health outcomes of these individuals.

The proposed outcomes of these studies will provide a greater understanding of the challenges faced and needs required for such spinal cord injury (SCI) individuals.

University of Adelaide R21010: Commenced 19 January 2022 – Completed

Research Team: Dr Matthew Baldock, Associate Professor Jeremy Woolley Dr Lisa Wundersitz and Ms Sally Edwards.

There are two main objectives of this project.

First, to determine the prevalence of the use of alcohol and drugs, including prescription medications, prior to involvement in road crashes requiring hospitalisation, and, second, to develop a possible methodology for determining the prevalence of the use of alcohol and drugs, including prescription medications, following involvement in crashes. The first objective will be achieved through analysis of a database of drivers, riders and pedestrians admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital following a road crash, and of a database of road crashes investigated at the scene by CASR.

The second objective will involve a literature review and the development of methodologies for two potential future projects. These are using CASR's access to medical records for those admitted to the RAH following a crash to allow for follow-up interviews with crash participants to enquire about post-crash alcohol and drug use and conducting follow-up interviews 12 months after the crash with crash participants interviewed as part of CASR's in-depth crash investigation program. A large proportion of LSA participants have been involved in road crashes so examining the alcohol and drug use of people seriously injured in road crashes is likely to be indicative of alcohol and drug use by LSA participants. This would therefore address the LSA research priority #2: Usage of prescribed and non-prescribed medications and alcohol among the LSA participants pre- and post-accident.

University of South Australia GA00096: Commenced 26/08/2019 – Completed 25/08/2021

Research Team: Dr Emma Karran (Lead Investigator), Professor Lorimer Moseley (Co-Investigator), Dr Dianne Wilson (Research Associate) and Ms Ashley Grant (Research Assistant)

A research team at UniSA have completed a project aimed at increasing understanding of the impact of persistent pain for adults with spinal cord injuries and the range of factors associated with poor outcomes. They applied mixed methods research and a health equity lens to identifying strategies to optimise care.

This research provided deep insights into the problem and life-impact of persistent pain and identified unmet care needs in Australian community settings. The research team has produced educational resources and tools to comprehensively evaluate pain for use by LSA; and has drawn attention to the need to consider the broader social circumstances of individuals’ lives in order to equitably address complex care needs.

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Central Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated (CAHLN) GA00052: Commenced 29/6/2018 – Completed 13/7/2021

Research Team: Dr Maggie Killington, Associate Professor Maayken van den Berg, Dr Miranda Jelbart and Ms Beverley Dodd

This study investigated early management of people who had sustained a concussion or mild/moderate traumatic brain injury as a result of a transport accident. The study also investigated the benefits of an interdisciplinary specialist service.

The findings showed that early management of people with concussion and mild traumatic brain injury by a specialist interdisciplinary team can lead to improved function and quality of life and can prevent the risk of chronic problems.

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Women's and Children's Health Network Incorporated Child and Adolescent Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service (CABIRS) GA00048: Commenced 3/7/2017 – Completed 30/06/2021

Research Team: Dr James Rice, Dr Rosa Zarrinkalam, Mathew Schibani, Lauren Bayliss

This project aimed to help needs of children and youth, with low to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) acquired through a vehicle-related accident. The aim was to help children and youth to return to school and community and reduce carer-related stress through short term rehabilitation.

The CABIRS model allows consumers to have early and accessible information and support through online resources, phone, videoconference and early recommendations.

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Flinders University GA00090: Commenced 15/07/2019 – Completed 30/12/2020

Research Team: Associate Professor Belinda Lange and Dr Sebastian Koenig.

This project aims to create a comprehensive virtual reality assessment scenario using functional tasks in a virtual kitchen to challenge and assess individuals with brain injury.

Building on existing virtual assessment methods used in speech pathology, the assessment will provide information relevant to functional domains such as occupational therapy, neuropsychology, and physiotherapy.

The findings revealed that clinician, community and brain injury participants had varying levels of experience with technology and there has been limited use of and support for the use of technologies in clinical care and during recovery following brain injury. The virtual reality simulation was perceived by participants to be of excellent usability with only a small number of short-term side effects for any participant group.

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Julia Farr Housing Association Incorporated GA00041: Commenced 24/11/2017 – Completed 28/02/2020

Research Team: Ms Cat Morgan, Mr Geoff Barber and Ms Jackie Hayes.

This project aims to explore how integrated home technology can increase an individual’s independence and dignity, enhance their wellbeing and connection to community.

The project uses an action-research approach to identify the best form and intensity of training requirements for service coordinators, planners and support workers to enable them to assist people with a disability to use assistive technology, including smartphones and tablets.

The research project will not only deepen the understanding of how to best support service planning and support workers, but also enable people living with an acquired brain or spinal cord injury to have access to increased independence through technology.

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Flinders University GA00026: Commenced 1/10/2017 – Completed 31/12/2019

Research Team: Dr Michelle Bellon, Ms Alinka Fisher, Professor Sharon Lawn, Professor McKay Sohlberg, Professor Jacinta Douglas and Dr Huahua Yin.

This project aimed to inform an economically viable service model for providing community-based neuro-behavioural support within South Australia. This project examined the feasibility of a family-directed behaviour support (FDBS) training program for caregivers to implement behavioural support interventions to their family members with an acquired brain injury (ABI) in community settings.

The FDBS program consists of an education phase followed by individualised sessions, and is premised on a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) framework. The outcome is to promote family caregivers as facilitators in the management process; facilitating competence on a service model currently unable to meet neuro-behavioural support needs.

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Determined 2 GA00021: Commenced 19/10/2017 – Completed 30/11/2019

Research Team: Dr Adrian Winsor, Miss Karlee Naumann, Dr Kade Davison, Professor Gaynor Parfitt and Dr Jocelyn Kernot.

The team at Determined 2 undertook research to create a standardised plan for using Immersion Therapy in the rehabilitation of brain and physical injuries. The project engaged medical and allied health professionals to determine measurable outcomes and create a high-quality brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation program that demonstrates enhanced brain plasticity.

The project aimed to increase life opportunities, including choice and control for participants, and increase their adjustment to injury.

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Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated GA00038: Commenced 03/07/2017 – Completed 29/11/2019

Principal Investigator: Health Block

A study to provide an evidence-based and standardised approach to deescalating challenging behaviours in people living with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This project aimed to reduce the use of mechanical and pharmacological restraints   applied in situations ‘Code Black’ security incidents for patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Key objectives achieved by this project were the development and implementation of an evidence based protocol for the management of behavioural issues in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients, an objective outcome measure to determine behaviour change.  A suite of e-learning staff training modules relating to behavioural changes after brain injury, acute management of behaviours of concern after brain injury was paired with the existing rehabilitation module “Setting events, antecedents and behaviour log”.

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Flinders University GA00028: Commenced 03/07/2017 – Completed 30/06/2019

Research Team: Associate Professor Stacey George, Dr Christopher Barr, Dr Kate Laver, Professor Maria Crotty, Dr Angela Berndt, Ms Andrea Aitchison and Ms Mareeta Dolling.

Flinders University have researched and identified the most effective rehabilitation approach for returning to driving following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Designed as a randomised cross over trial, this study involved the comparison of the effectiveness of a driving simulator compared to routine driving lessons, to determine which intervention approach was most effective and inform clinical practice.

Participants were evaluated on performance in assessments of visual scanning, attention, processing speed, self-efficacy, road sign recognition, reaction time and on-road driving performance. Results have indicated that those who participated in lessons had a significantly improved outcome in an on-road assessment, and less hazardous errors on-road when compared to the driving simulator group at the initial cross over point.

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Julia Farr Housing Association Incorporated GA00059: Commenced 16/05/2016 – Completed 30/06/2019

Research Team: Mr Geoff Barber, Ms Mikaila Crotty, Mr David Elston and Mr Robbi Williams.

This trial was designed and delivered by Stretchy Tech, Researchers from JFA Purple Orange completed the data collection, data analysis, and the cost benefit analysis as well as the research report.

The study identified and measured the benefits of how home integrated technology can increase a person’s independence and dignity, enhance their wellbeing and connection to the community. The trial involved identifying, assessing and validating suitable technologies utilising a proven Cost Benefit Analysis approach. Approved technologies were then installed in participant’s homes and they were trained in their use and function.

This project provided involved participants with an active role in the assessment of technology, which allowed for greater independence and mobility, and improved control in their lives through choice of technology options.

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University of South Australia GA00034: Commenced 08/06/2017 – Completed 01/03/2019

Research Team: Associate Professor Mandy Stanley, Associate Professor Shylie Mackintosh, Dr Gisela van Kessel and Dr Carolyn Murray.

The project aimed to better understand how health professionals manage the dignity of risk for people living with brain injury.

The study addressed the issue of how to enable people living with brain injury to live a full life, including having the dignity to take risks that are part of everyday life.

The project sought to address common restrictions this group faces to achieve meaningful participation in the community, and understand how occupational therapists and physiotherapists understand risk, balance community safety, and support personal growth.

The outcomes of this project included the development of a set of stories to illustrate scenarios encountered in practice, these included reflective questions to be used as a continuing professional development resource.

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Flinders University GA00024: Commenced 15/06/2017 – Completed 28/02/2019

Research Team: Ms Nicole Simmons, Associate Professor Chris Barr, and Associate Professor James McLoughlin.

The study aimed to determine which aspects of balance and mobility most influence how much people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) participate in community activities. Factors including walking speed, walking capacity, balance, balance confidence, dizziness, fatigue and self-belief in ones abilities.

These factors were measured and analysed to determine how strongly these relate to levels of community participation.

The results could assist in guiding interventions and services towards factors that are more likely to improve community activity levels in people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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University of South Australia GA00040: Commenced 03/07/2017 – Completed 31/01/2019

Research Team: Dr Angela Berndt, Ms Susan Gilbert-Hunt, Associate Professor Stacey George and Professor Julie Ratcliffe.

The project aimed to determine the cost effectiveness and social benefits of provision of vehicle modification to people with disability, to generate a theory of change for the social value created by these modifications.

Findings highlighted that investment in vehicle modifications is repaid in generated social value over and above the expected driving life of people with disability as well as the expected life of the vehicle, which has important implications for funders of such modifications.

This research also illustrated that vehicle modifications generate a wide range of positive outcomes that are meaningful for people with disability and greatly contribute to the quality of their lives, as well as the opportunities they have access to in Australian society.

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Office of the Public Advocate GA00049: Commenced 07/08/2017 – Completed 11/01/2019

Research Team: Ms Anne Gale, Ms Margaret Brown, Dr David Caudrey, Ms Clarissa Bourne, Ms Kylie Smith, Ms Karen Saxty, Ms Lyndi Gepp, Ms Sally Fox and Ms Kerry Cross.

The study produced a policy and practice framework to guide the implementation of supported decision-making principles for people with impaired decision-making capacity.

This project aimed to enhance individuals’ ability to get their life chances back following an acquired brain injury (ABI), and involved examining of the use of supported-decision-making practices with Lifetime Support Scheme (LSS) participants to enable them to exercise their independence, choice and control.

The research process included training in supported-decision-making principles, defining the roles of decision makers, facilitators, supporters and monitors, and the recording of decisions as self-determined, collaborative or substantive.

This project provided a literature review of best-practice supported-decision-making, as well as a supported-decision-making practice exercise and evaluation of outcomes, which were used to inform the policy and practice framework.

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Central Adelaide Local Health Network GA00035: Commenced 12/07/2017 – Completed 31/12/2018

Research Team: Dr Simon Mills, Dr Shylie Mackintosh, Dr Michelle McDonnell and Dr Dominic Thewlis.

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is devastating and can have life-long effects on mobility, little is known about the changes in mobility over time in those with severe ABI, as this population is generally excluded from research. A longitudinal, observational study with 12 adults who are not able to walk 8 weeks after an acquired brain injury (ABI)

The research produced statistical and qualitative data aimed to determine changes in mobility, the relationship between change in postural alignment and changes in mobility skills, and the relationships between quality of life and mobility for people living with severe ABI.

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University of South Australia GA00010: Commenced 13/07/2017 – Completed 31/12/2018

Research Team: Professor Susan Hillier, Dr Julie Luker, Dr Carolyn Murray and Mrs Anthea Worley.

The purpose of this study was to understand how the quality of brain injury rehabilitation is understood by people living with brain injury, their families and carers, and the practitioners who provide it.

The research utilised evidence from different countries and contexts that identified the key concepts of quality rehabilitation and measurement tools.

Evidence from interviews conducted with three stakeholder groups – people with brain injury, their carer’s and brain injury health professionals, was also used to inform understandings about quality rehabilitation.

The project produced a list of indicators of high-quality brain injury rehabilitation to form the basis of audit checklists and other evaluation resources, useful for consumers, providers and funders to better recognise high quality rehabilitation choices.

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The University of Sydney GA00068: Commenced 01/03/2018 – Completed 16/11/2018

Research Team: Dr Liz Gill and Professor Ian Cameron.

This project aimed to report on findings in relation to Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) participant outcomes and to undertake a larger benchmarking project between the LSA scheme and the New South Wales Lifetime Care and Support Scheme (NSW LTCS).

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Central Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated GA00015: Commenced 31/07/2017 – Completed 31/10/2018

Research Team: Dr Maggie Killington, Ms Kate Dawes, Ms Ashley Belcher and Dr Maayken van den Berg.

The project aimed to involve consumers with a lived experience of acquired brain injury (ABI) in how sub-acute services can be used to best support and educate children about brain injury. The project sought to investigate the perspectives of children and families when a family member has a brain injury, to understand if children perceive whether their needs were met, and identify the gaps in resources and tools in this area.

This research identified that there is a lack of support and involvement for family members during the acute hospital phase to community living many years after the injury.

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South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) GA00058: Commenced 01/10/2015 – Completed 30/12/2017

Research Team: Dr Ryan O’Hare Doig, Professor Brian Freeman  Mr Prab Takhar, Associate Professor Jillian Clark, Associate Professor Dylan Bartholomeusz, Dr Kevin Kuan, Mr Doug Smyth and Mr Nicholas Siebert.

A project that provided the foundation for a new diagnostic and long-term prognostic approach to the care of those with spinal cord injury (SCI). The aim was to determine whether Positron Emission Tomography (PET) of the spinal cord has clinically predictive validity to map out areas of the injured but viable spinal cord, which has the potential to recover post-surgery.

The research looked at spinal cord inflammation, and aimed to improve the scanning of areas, for better surgical intervention and improved patient outcomes. The completion of this project allowed for the inception of Project Discovery, a human clinical trial to test the application of this new diagnostic technology.

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Central Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated GA00055: Commenced 07/10/2015 – Completed 13/01/2017

Research Team: Dr Maggie Killington, Mr Michael Snigg  and Ms Emma Campbell.

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether provision of group-based modules addressing recognition of the signs of fatigue, causes of fatigue and self-management of fatigue following an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) leads to enhanced self-efficacy and improved quality of life. The clinical trial resulted in improved quality of life and self-efficacy.

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Central Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated GA00057: Commenced 07/10/2015 – Completed 01/01/2017

Research Team: Ms Kate Viner, Dr Mandy Stanley and Mr Hugh Stewart.

The focus of this completed study was to look at the technology available for individuals with tetraplegia, a spinal cord injury above the first thoracic vertebrae affecting the cervical spinal cord.

Tetraplegia results in reduced motor and sensory function of the upper and lower limbs, and independent access to technology can be difficult or sometimes impossible for people living with the condition. The research project facilitated access to an all-in-one device, such as a tablet or smartphone, for people living with Tetraplegia to explore the satisfaction and perspectives of its uses and benefits.

This project aimed to investigate the experiences of clients with tetraplegia using smartphones, tablets and computers, and found that participants were more satisfied with their technology following the intervention. This included improved access to technology with adaptive aids, use of apps to increase independence and the social opportunities provided by access to phone and social media apps.

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University of South Australia GA00054: Commenced 09/10/2015 – Completed 13/10/2016

Research Team: Dr Mandy Stanley, Dr Shylie Mackintosh, Dr Gisela van Kessel, Dr Caroline Fryer, Associate Professor Susan Hillier and Ms Carolyn Murray.

A research team at the University of South Australia have completed a project to improve understandings of the meaning of choice and control for people with traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury, as well as their caregivers and families.

This research found that it is important to people living with brain or spinal injury that their caregivers and families understand the context that they are living within, and how establishing identity, having choices and exerting personal power contributes to their sense of being in control.

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Flinders University GA00053: Commenced 09/10/2015 – Completed 13/10/2016

Research Team: Associate Professor Stacey George, Dr Christopher Barr, Professor Maria Crotty and Dr Jacki Liddle.

The Car-Free-Me project aimed to support people with complex trauma injuries and their families to maximise participation through community mobility.

The project focused on people with injuries including orthopaedic, amputee, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, who may no longer be able to drive, and evaluated the effectiveness of community mobility group intervention programs for these people, and their families, to positively impact health outcomes.

Sessions were undertaken by an occupational therapist on adjusting to losses and changes, experiences of stopping driving, alternative transport, lifestyle planning, and advocacy and support.

The findings provided a statistically significant improvement in individual program goal ratings following the intervention program, and qualitative data analysis found that the peer support offered in these programs was valued by participants.

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The University of Adelaide GA00056: Commenced 19/10/2015 – Completed 13/10/2016

Research Team: Dr Diana Dorstyn, Associate Professor Rachel Roberts, Professor Anna Chur-Hansen, Professor Ashley Craig, Professor Ian Kneebone, Professor Gregory Murphy, Dr Christine Migliorini, Mr Peter Stewart , Dr Ruth Marshall, Associate Professor Jillian Clark and Ms Elizabeth Potter.

The aims of this project were to; (1) examine facilitators of and barriers to workforce participation to people with spinal cord injury living in community-based housing, (2) assess the feasibility of online vocational rehabilitation programs, and (3) to create a detailed picture of service delivery in vocational rehabilitation.

This research found that early intervention is critical to job retention for those with a spinal cord injury (SCI), and that more investment into services that assist these individuals to remain employed is necessary. The pilot project noted that the use of email-based information to promote vocational goals, interests and strengths among injured job-seekers could provide a novel solution to this problem.

It is hoped that this study will contribute to further research that addresses the successful long-term health and lifestyle for injured people, and help to ensure that participants living with spinal cord injury have a robust set of tools and information to successfully transition to vocational pursuits and career development.

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Ninti-One GA00051: Commenced 02/06/2015 – Completed 30/10/2015

Research Team: Ms Tammy Abbott, Mr Steve Fisher, Ms Maureen Abbott, Ms Lena Taylor,Ms Georgia Brazenal, Mr Edin Fleming, Ms Georgia Lennon, Ms Julia Walsh, and Mr Angus Thornton.

The Aboriginal Community Research team at Ninti One have conducted a survey of Anangu people in two selected communities, Pukatja and Amata, in order to capture perspectives and insights of Aboriginal people with disabilities and their Carer’s.

This project aimed to enable participants to voice their own priorities, needs and stories, and led the researchers to identify key themes that represent those voices.

The survey highlighted the vulnerability of individual people in terms of care support are particularly important issues that require priority attention.

Responses also highlighted that the role of respite support, improved cross-cultural knowledge and practice, better education, and increased awareness of disability across the population to meet the aspirations of people with disabilities are among many topics relevant to future service design and improvement.

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Page last updated: 13 September 2022