Goal: More efficacious interventions to improve health outcomes for people following traumatic injury

Research focus: Musculoskeletal injury

Program leader: Professor Michele Sterling


The Designing Better Therapies team is seeking knowledge that will help people with injury to optimally recover. The research team are undertaking multiple research projects – all with a focus on musculoskeletal injury, particularly whiplash associated disorders (WAD). The Designing Better Therapies team is headed by Professor Michele Sterling, an internationally recognised whiplash injury researcher. 

Some of our projects include:

  • A randomised clinical trial of stress inoculation training and exercise delivered by physiotherapists to prevent chronic pain and disability after acute whiplash injury
  • A randomised clinical trial of trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy and physiotherapy for people with chronic WAD.
  • Testing new clinical pathways of care that deliver individualised risk-stratified treatment to improve health outcomes after acute musculoskeletal injury
  • Developing and translating improved clinical tools to accurately identify people at risk of poor recovery following injury
  • To explore peripheral and central mechanisms underlying the development of chronic pain after injury