Explore PhD topics within the 'Improving the delivery of evidence-based services' research program, and get in touch with the listed adviser/s to learn more or register your interest.

  • Program goal: Wider availability of cost-effective evidence-based care
  • Objective: Optimising rehabilitation pathways using technology
  • Research focus: Telerehabilitation

Explore PhD topics:

Treatment of hypernasality in individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) using continuous positive airway pressure

Topic: 

Treatment of hypernasality in individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): comparison of intensity of intervention and delivery modes (face-to-face vs telerehabilitation).

Project description: 

Hypernasality is frequently reported in individuals with dysarthria following acquired brain injury. Preliminary data (Cahill et al., 2004) revealed increased sentence intelligibility and reduced nasalance in individuals with ABI following an intensive CPAP treatment program. This study aims to expand on that pilot study to:

• Compare outcomes of varying intensity (session length and number of sessions per week) and duration of treatment (4, 6, 8 weeks), to determine the optimum treatment options

• Compare face-to-face delivery versus delivery via telerehabilitation

• Investigate objective changes in structure and velopharyngeal closure following CPAP therapy using MRI.

A repeated measures experimental research design will be employed, and outcomes will be evaluated using perceptual and objective measures of speech intelligibility and nasalance values. MRI data will be collected and analysed in conjunction with local imaging researchers.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Louise Cahill

Email l.cahill@uq.edu.au

Dr Brooke-Mai Whelan

Email bmw@uq.edu.au

Professor Deborah Theodoros

Email d.theodoros@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Speech pathology

Neuroanatomical markers of motor speech recovery

Topic:

Neuroanatomical markers of motor speech recovery: Investigating changes in white matter tract integrity following high intensity speech treatment in adults with non-progressive dysarthria.

Project description: 

The aim of this study is to identify treatment-driven neuroanatomical markers of motor speech recovery in adults with non-progressive dysarthria, following intensive speech treatment. Defining mechanisms of neural reorganisation that underlie treatment-driven improvements in speech function will provide a much-needed evidence-base to shift current models of speech pathology practice towards high intensity approaches that effect maximal behavioural change for individuals with dysarthria.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Brooke-Mai Whelan, Associate Professor Katie McMahon and Professor Deborah Theodoros

Email bmw@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Speech pathology

Be Clear Online: Determining the efficacy of an intensive speech treatment program for adults with non-progressive dysarthria

Project description: 

Intensive treatment programs have been reported to optimise experience-dependent plasticity responses and functional recovery following acquired brain injury (ABI). Usual care practices are often unable to support the levels of treatment intensity required for such outcomes. Technology-enabled rehabilitation provides a means of facilitating high-intensity treatment.

The proposed study will investigate the efficacy of the online delivery of an intensive speech treatment for adults with dysarthria following ABI.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Brooke-Mai Whelan and Professor Deborah Theodoros

Email bmw@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Speech pathology

Design and development of mobile applications to assist better delivery of health services for people following traumatic brain injury.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Atiyeh Vaezipour

Email a.vaezipour@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Individual with the interest in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX), some programming skills, and some background knowledge to create user experience designs using Adobe Creative Suite.

Alternatively, individual with the background in Speech therapy and interest in using technology for speech treatment.

Design and development and evaluation of Virtual Reality applications

Topic:

Design and development and evaluation of Virtual Reality applications for enhancing capabilities of people with Traumatic brain injury is their activities of daily living.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Atiyeh Vaezipour

Email a.vaezipour@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

PhD student with the interest in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User Experience (UX), some programming skills, and some background knowledge to create user experience designs using Adobe Creative Suite.

Alternatively individual with the background in Speech therapy and interest in virtual reality for speech treatment.

Design and development of in-car driver assistance interface

Topic:

Design and development of in-car driver assistance interface to facilitate return to driving for people with Traumatic Brain Injury.

Advisers and contact:

Dr Atiyeh Vaezipour

Email a.vaezipour@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background:

Interests and (some) experience in augmented reality and/or virtual reality (Unity 3D experience and programming skill).