New research projects

Economic stress, non-cognitive skill development and life outcomes

Dr Sonja Kassenboehmer has successfully received an ARC Discovery Project for the project titled ‘Economic Stress, Non-cognitive skill Development and Life Outcomes’ whichaims to identify policies in which the fostering of non-cognitive skills in schools can improve life outcomes for disadvantaged children. The project will identify the mechanisms behind differential development and returns to non-cognitive skills between socio-economic groups, and in particular how the exposure to economic stress inhibits non-cognitive functioning and development. The findings will be used to propose crucial education policies to reduce inequality and maximise the welfare of society.

Fit for purpose

Associate Professor Gang Chen will lead part of the NHMRC Project Grant, with colleagues at Flinders University, titled ‘Fit for purpose: personalised surveillance colonoscopy for people at increased risk of colorectal cancer’ which proposes to test a novel way to reduce the frequency of colonscopies, for people at increased risk of bowel cancer, needed through a personalised risk-assessment strategy using faecal occult blood tests. Testing this strategy aims to decrease the large burden on limited healthcare resources, given the majority of people do not need such intensive surveillance, and will investigate its safety and cost-effectiveness as well as patients preference to current testing practices.

Technology versus tradition

Professor Anthony Harris will lead part of the NHMRC Project Grant, with colleagues at The University of Melbourne, titled ‘Technology versus tradition: a non-inferiority trial comparing video to face-to-face consultations with a physiotherapist for people with knee osteoarthritis’. This study will compare the effectiveness of video consultations with physiotherapists to traditional face-to-face consultations by evaluating clinical outcomes, patient and therapist acceptability, and the costs of delivering care with these two approaches.

Tailored text messaging versus Quitline

Associate Professor Dennis Petrie will lead part of a NHMRC Project Grant, with colleagues at UNSW, titled ‘A non-inferiority trial of tailored text messaging versus quitline for smoking cessation among low-socioeconomic status smokers’, that aims to deliver a new cost-effective strategy that has greater reach, highacceptability, and increased likelihood of uptake which is needed for low-SES to increase cessation. The cost-effectiveness data from this trial is imperative, and if text messaging presents as an affordable and cost-effective smoking cessation aid, it has great potential to reduce health care costs, and improve smoking cessation rates globally.


Associate Professor Duncan Mortimer will lead part of a NHMRC Partnerships Project, with colleagues in the Monash Department of General Practice, titled ‘IMPRovE: Implementing work related Mental health guidelines in general PRacticE’ which seeks to improve health and return to work outcomes for injured workers with work-related mental health conditions (MHCs) by improving the care provided by their general practitioner (GP). Objectives are to increase the delivery of evidence-based care for patients with work-related MHCs in general practice and to assess the cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

TAC external research panel

The Centre for Health Economics was part of a Monash University bid to be a service provider on the TAC External Research Panel, which brings together expertise across the University to form collaborative teams to work on commissioned research projects as part of the TAC Health, Disability & Compensation Research Annual Plan for 2018/2019. Currently CHE researchers, are working on two successful commissioned research projects.

Ministry of Health, Singapore

The CHE Health Technology Assessment (HTA) team, has been successful in providing the Ministry of Health Singapore’s Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE) independent external reviews of selected health technology evaluations in 2018 and 2019.