Explore PhD topics within the 'Designing better therapies' research program, and get in touch with the listed adviser/s to learn more or register your interest.

  • Program goal: More efficacious interventions to improve health outcomes for people following traumatic injury
  • Research focus: Musculoskeletal injury

Explore PhD topics:

Predicting outcome after road traffic crash injury

Project description:

Current predictors of recovery or non-recovery after road traffic injury are predominantly self-reported psychosocial factors, which are considered outcome mediators rather than causal factors. This project will investigate the addition of biomarkers to current predictive models in order to understand why some people develop chronic pain after injury and others recover.

Advisers:

Professor Michele Sterling, Dr Nigel Armfield

Email m.sterling@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Clinical sciences, epidemiology

Opioid use and misuse following road traffic musculoskeletal injury

Project description:

Recent research by our group has shown that opioids are inappropriately prescribed for people with musculoskeletal pain after a road traffic crash. This project will explore this issue by longitudinal investigation of opioid use after injury and by using qualitative methods to explore reasons underlying opioid use in injured people and health care providers. It will also explore the physiotherapists’ role in preventing opioid misuse.

Advisers:

Professor Michele Sterling

Email m.sterling@uq.edu.au

A/Prof Jane Nikles

Email j.nikles@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Clinical sciences

Developing early brief interventions to prevent chronic pain after injury

Project description:

We have recently shown that addressing early stress symptoms after injury can prevent the development of later chronic pain. This project will explore the development of brief interventions using innovative methods that will be efficient and cost-effective. It will also explore biological stress markers as moderators of any treatment effects.

Advisers:

Professor Michele Sterling

m.sterling@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Clinical sciences

Neurobiological Processes in Whiplash Associated Disorder

Project description:

This project investigates the role of small fibre dysfunction (structural and/or functional) in the development of chronic pain after injury.

Advisers:

Dr Scott Farrell

Email s.farrell@uq.edu.au

Professor Michele Sterling

Preferred educational background:

Clinical, biomedical sciences

The neurological effects of exercise in individuals with chronic neck pain

Project description:

This project investigates the underlying biological (immune, structural, biochemical, and functional characteristics of the brain, descending inhibitory influences) effects of exercise in individuals with chronic neck pain, informing on the usefulness of exercise as an intervention for individuals with chronic pain.

Advisers:

Professor Michele Sterling

Email m.sterling@uq.edu.au

Dr Rutger deZoete

Email r.dezoete@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Clinical, biomedical sciences

Cervical spine sensorimotor control in individuals with whiplash associated disorder

Project description:

For individuals with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD), who often experience symptoms such as dizziness, unsteadiness, and impaired balance, the importance of cervical sensorimotor control appears imperative. This project investigates whether cervical sensorimotor control is impaired in individuals with acute WAD, and whether these outcomes can predict chronicity.

Advisers:

Dr Rutger deZoete

Email r.dezoete@uq.edu.au

Professor Michele Sterling

Email m.sterling@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Clinical sciences