Volunteer for research

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting a number of research studies to improve the health outcomes of people injured in road traffic crashes.

Chronic whiplash trial

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting various studies into the treatment of whiplash injuries. Help us prevent whiplash pain by being a part of a leading Australian research program investigating the most effective treatments for this condition.

Aim: To investigate whether trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise are more effective than client-centred supported therapy and exercise for people with chronic whiplash and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Type of volunteers needed:

  • 18-70 years old
  • Injury within the last 10 years from a road traffic crash
  • Suffering neck pain
  • No confirmed fractures or dislocations at the time of the injury

What is involved?

The study runs for 12 months and requires attendance at a screening assessment which may take up to 2 hours and involves psychological and physical measures. If you meet the specific criteria you will be invited to participate in the clinical trial. Attendance will be required at follow-up appointments at 10 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and 12 months to complete the same measures. It also requires attendance at 10 psychological treatment sessions over 10 weeks and 10 physiotherapy sessions across 6 weeks, all lasting approximately one hour.

What’s in it for me?

10 weeks of free psychology treatment and 6 weeks of free physiotherapy treatment provided by qualified psychologists & physiotherapists.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Sarah Robins on 3346 4812 or 0436 391 158, or email s.robins1@uq.edu.au.

Whiplash impact study

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting various studies into the treatment of whiplash injuries. Help us prevent whiplash pain by being a part of a leading Australian research program investigating the most effective treatments for this condition.

Aim: To investigate different pathways of care to help people recover after whiplash in order to help develop more effective treatments.

Type of volunteers needed:

  • 18-65 years old
  • Injury within the last 6 weeks from a road traffic crash
  • Suffering neck pain
  • No confirmed fractures or dislocations at the time of the injury

What is involved?

Participation will include treatment for your whiplash injury in addition to completing questionnaires at first contact and then at 3, 6 and 12 months after the first assessment.

What’s in it for me?

This is a randomised controlled trial, so participants will be randomly allocated to one of two different processes of care. You may be eligible for referral to a health care provider with specialist expertise in whiplash injury and access to a website that provides you with specific information about whiplash recovery.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Sarah Robins on 3346 4812 or 0436 391 158, or email s.robins1@uq.edu.au.

Small fibre dysfunction in whiplash associated disorder

Aim: To investigate changes in sensory nerve structure and function in people with whiplash neck pain, as compared to uninjured people

Type of volunteers needed: Females aged 43-65 years, or males aged 53-65, with no neck pain or history of whiplash.

What is involved?

Participants come to RECOVER Injury Research Centre (Griffith University Gold Coast Campus) and complete some questionnaires, undergo sensory testing (warm, cold, light touch, pin prick, vibration etc.), and have 3 mm skin biopsies taken (with local anaesthetic) from their finger and ankle, performed by a medical practitioner. The entire process takes around 90 minutes in total, and is a one off assessment.

What’s in it for me?

Participants are given a $50 gift voucher (for their time and any travel expenses), as well as the satisfaction of knowing they have contributed to novel research on a significant healthcare challenge

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Dr Scott Farrell on 0400 550 548 or 5678 0361, or email scott.farrell@uq.edu.au.

Be Clear Online: An intensive speech treatment for people who have a speech disorder following acquired brain injury

Aim: To investigate the effectiveness of a speech treatment program delivered via the internet

Type of volunteers needed:

Male and female adults with a non-progressive speech disorder (dysarthria), as a result of traumatic brain injury or stroke. 

  • Not in active speech therapy or at least be prepared to cease therapy for the duration of the research project
  • At least 6 months post-injury
  • Have access to a computer and internet connectivity in your own home

What is involved?

  • 7 assessment sessions of approximately 1 hour each (i.e., a screening session, pre-treatment assessment, post-treatment assessment, and 3 month follow-up assessment). These assessments will be conducted in person
  • A 4 week period of treatment involving therapy for 1 hour a day, 4 days per week, for a period of 4 weeks. This therapy will be delivered online i.e. via videoconferencing.
  • Daily homework tasks to be completed independently. Approx. 15 mins per day for a period of 4 months.

What’s in it for me?

Participants will receive free speech treatment by a speech pathologist in their home.

Should this study prove to be successful, Be Clear Online will offer a much needed treatment option for individuals who are unable to access intensive face-to-face speech therapy due to distance or physical disability.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Dr Brooke-Mai Whelan on 3346 4785, or email: bmw@uq.edu.au.

Functional outcomes following a road traffic crash

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting a study into the pattern of recovery after musculoskeletal injuries sustained in road traffic crashes. Help us better understand how these injuries affected employment and everyday function by being a part of a leading Australian research program investigating injury recovery in Queensland.

Aim: To plot the trajectory of recovery of work and functional outcomes following road traffic crashes, in order to identify those who may need extra assistance to return to everyday life and work.

Type of volunteers needed: 

  • 18-65 years old
  • Injury within the last 4 weeks from a road traffic crash
  • Injuries including, but not limited to, neck pain, bruising, sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations
  • People with injuries that required a hospital stay of longer than 10 days are not the focus of this study

What is involved?

Participation involves completing questionnaires at first contact, and again at 6 months and 12 months after the first assessment, with short work-focussed surveys administered every month for the first 5 months, and again at 9 months.

What’s in it for me?

Participants who complete the questionnaire at 6 months will receive a $25 Coles-Myer gift card, with another $10 gift card for participants who complete the 12-month questionnaire.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact RECOVER Injury Research Centre on 3365 5560, or email recover@uq.edu.

Exercise as treatment for people with whiplash associated disorder

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting a clinical trial investigating the most effective type of exercise for people with whiplash. We are now seeking participants: you can contribute to this study (with or without whiplash) and receive FREE physiotherapist-led exercise training.

Aims: 

  1. To investigate the biological effects of exercise in people with and without chronic whiplash associated disorder.
  2. To investigate the effectiveness of different types and durations of exercise for people with chronic whiplash associated disorder.
  3. To investigate the relationship between changes to the biological system and health outcomes.

Type of volunteers needed:

People with chronic whiplash:

  • 18-60 years old
  • Injury more than 12 weeks ago
  • Suffering neck pain (at least 4/10 on a 0-10 pain scale [0: no pain; 10: worst pain imaginable])
  • No confirmed fractures or dislocations at the time of the injury

People without whiplash:

  • 18-60 years old
  • No neck pain/never had a whiplash injury

What is involved?

If you agree to participate, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Complete brief (5 min) questionnaires to identify pain intensity, disability in daily activities and activity level.
  • Attend three 1.5-hour sessions over a period of 10 weeks at The University of Queensland, Herston Campus to collect data. During these sessions you will undergo a 1-hour MRI scan, a blood sample will be taken, and an exercise test and movement control test will be performed.
  • Engage in one of two exercise programs:
  1. Aerobic exercise program, 3 sessions a week for 8 weeks: Moderate intensity whole-body exercises of your preference (e.g., walking, cycling, running, rowing). Minimum of 20-30 minutes per session. If you are allocated to this group, you will receive a heart rate monitor for the duration of the study in order to determine your exercise intensity.
  2. Resistance exercise program, 3 times a week for 8 weeks: Moderate intensity resistance exercises. Minimum of 20-30 minutes per session. If you are allocated to this group, you will receive a Gymstick for the duration of the study. This is an instrument that allows you to perform resistance exercises at home.

What’s in it for me?

You will be given FREE weekly exercise training sessions by a trained and experienced physiotherapist. We will provide you with equipment to do two more exercise sessions each week independently. As this study aims to investigate the effectiveness of exercise, it is possible that you will experience positive effects on your health outcomes, but it is also possible that you will not experience any effects. There are no costs associated with any of the study elements.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Dr Rutger de Zoete on 0432 218 486, or email r.dezoete@uq.edu.au.

Psychological factors, pain and pain management survey

RECOVER Injury Research Centre is conducting a study investigating how pain can be influenced by how we think and feel, to improve treatment for chronic pain sufferers.

Aims: 

The aim of this study is to examine the shared psychological and social factors associated with pain experience and pain management. 

Type of volunteers needed:

People who have chronic pain (defined as pain that has persisted for longer than 3 months past the healing time of an injury).

What is involved?

Participants will be asked to fill out a short online questionnaire about their thoughts and emotions associated with pain and pain management. Participation in this study will take approximately 20-30 minutes. 

What’s in it for me?

You will not personally benefit from the proposed research. However, you will have the opportunity to go into a draw to win 1 of 2 $100 gift vouchers to compensate you for the time taken to complete the survey. The findings of the present study might help us develop possible ways to identify individuals who might benefit from personalised treatments for chronic pain and co-occurring opioid use and potential misuse in the future. 

How can I volunteer or find out more?

The survey can be completed online using the following link:

Enter the survey

Please contact Dr Rachel Elphinston on 3346 4823, or email rachelel@uq.edu.au for more information.

Improving the management of driving behaviour in individuals with chronic pain

Aims:

The aim of this study is to better understand driving challenges for individuals with chronic pain. 

Type of volunteers needed:

1. Health Professionals

Australian health professionals with experience in working with individuals with chronic pain, general practitioners, and community-based occupational therapy driving assessors.

2. Individuals with Chronic Pain

  • Adults over the age of 18 years old who hold a valid Australian driver's licence; 
  • Have persistent non-cancer pain for at least three months (i.e. i.e. spinal pain, low back pain, neck pain); and,
  • Have not been diagnosed with a condition affecting the vestibular or central nervous system or visual acuity.

What is involved?

Participation will involve an interview (i.e. phone/videoconferencing/face-to-face interview at the UQ Herston Campus) for up to 60 minutes at a time that is convenient to you. Everything you say will be completely confidential and anonymous.

What’s in it for me?

You will receive a $50 e-gift voucher at the completion of the interview as a thank you for participating in the study. We cannot guarantee or promise that you will receive any additional benefits from this research; however, possible benefits may include improving the management of driving in individuals with chronic pain as well as potential benefits in terms of public education for drivers in Australia.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

Please contact Dr Atiyeh Vaezipour on (07) 3346 4824, or email: a.vaezipour@uq.edu.au.

Identifying optimal sit-stand recommendations for office workers with low back pain

Aims:

You are invited to take part in this research project testing the impact of two sit-stand recommendations on low back pain (LBP). You can participate in this study if you:

  • have low back pain,
  • are a predominantly desk-based worker at the University of Queensland who uses a sit-stand desk or workstation,
  • work at least 0.6 FTE,
  • are not pregnant,
  • do not have a medical condition that limits your ability to stand,
  • do not have allergies to adhesive tape such as Hypafix and Opsite

What is involved:

Should you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to:

  • Use your sit-stand desk or workstation as prescribed by the research team for 3 months.
  • Provide information on your low back pain each day for 1 week before starting the study, during the study for 1 week (at week 2) and after the end of the study for 1 week (at 3 months) via an app or self-report diary.
  • Wear an activity monitor (24 × 43 × 5 mm; 10 g) on the front of the right thigh for 7 days (24 hours per day) before the intervention, during (2 weeks) and after the intervention (3 months). The small lightweight monitor is attached using a hypoallergenic adhesive waterproof patch. The monitor will be used to collect data on your sitting, standing and stepping time. It will not collect any data on your location. You will be asked to report your wake and sleep times, work times, and monitor removals via an app or self-report diary. A research assistant will visit you in your office to show you how to use the monitor, and provide you with written instructions for its use.
  • Provide information about yourself (e.g. age, education, job category), your LBP, pain in any other body parts (e.g. shoulder, neck), and your work environment before starting the study and after end of the study (at 3 months) in an online survey. The online survey will take approximately 25-30 minutes to complete.
  • Provide information on whether you thought the intervention was acceptable and satisfactory at 3 months only.

Some participants will also be asked to:

  • Participate in a telephone interview to talk more about the study, an example of the type of questions that may be asked is “were there any supporting factors that assisted you in following the recommendation?”

What's in it for me?

We cannot guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from this research; however, possible benefits may include improvements in your low back pain, and a better understanding of how to set up and optimally use your sit-stand work desk. Participants will also receive a $40 gift card upon completion.

How can I volunteer or find out more?

People interested in participating or learning more about the study can contact Charlotte Brakenridge on (07) 3346 4816 or email c.brakenridge@uq.edu.au.