Current Recruitment Study Details

Simulated driver rehabilitation following  brain injury

This study is investigating whether using  a driving simulator is useful and cost-effective in assisting those have had a  brain injury return to driving. We wish to assess whether those who  practice on a simulator are more likely to pass an on-road test, or require less on-road driving lessons, compared to those who do not use a driving simulator. Participants will be randomly allocated to whether or not they  receive simulator practice.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Previously suffered a mild, moderate or severe stroke or traumatic brain injury
  • Age greater than 18 years
  • Previously held full or probationary licence
  • Deemed by a multidisciplinary medical and allied health team  that they require driving assessment
  • Having adequate English, cognitive, visual and physical  abilities to participate in driving assessment and rehabilitation
  • Being available to complete both simulated and on-road  driving rehabilitation programs.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Insufficient understanding of English
  • Less than 18 years of age
  • Any previous neurological condition such as MS or dementia  that could impair cognition or driving behaviour with the exception of TBI and  stroke
  • Any other serious condition or disorder that would preclude the individual from being referred for driving assessment as per the  guidelines for assessing medical fitness to drive (e.g. severe psychiatric, neurological or physical impairments).  

Location: Epworth Hawthorn

Contact: Bleydy Dimech-Betancourt (Study Coordinator)
Phone: (03) 9905 3965
Mobile: 0439 257 712

Telehealth delivery of memory rehabilitation following stroke

This study is interested in investigating  different avenues for delivering an established memory rehab program for stroke  survivors, including telehealth and face-to-face methods.

Participants will receive a 6-week  program of memory rehabilitation, comprising a 2-hour session each week,  one-on-one with a therapist. This occurs either at the Monash Psychology  Centre, or remotely over the internet. The course covers information about  stroke and how memory can be affected, as well as useful strategies and tools  to support everyday memory functioning.
Before and after the program,  participants fill in questionnaires and complete activities to assess objective  and self-reported functional memory. At the end of the process, participants  also receive an individualised report outlining their progress through the rehab program.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Primary  diagnosis of stroke
  • Reported  subjective or objective memory difficulties
  • Minimum  English fluency and sufficient comprehension allowing meaningful interaction  throughout assessment and the intervention program
  • For in-person intervention: Availability  and geographic access to attend weekly intervention sessions at the MPC for 6 consecutive weeks, in addition to pre-intervention and maintenance phase  session
  • For  videoconferencing intervention: Access to a computer,  broadband Internet coverage required for videoconferencing, plus sufficient technological proficiency required to operate videoconferencing

Exclusion Criteria

  • History of  other neurological condition(s), including dementia
  • Severe  cognitive impairment precluding valid completion of measures

Location: Monash Psychology Centre (Notting Hill) or web-based

Contact: David Lawson (Study Coordinator)
Mobile: 0425 751 734

Cognitive  behaviour therapy for fatigue and poor sleep following brain injury

This study is interested in evaluating a  therapy program for fatigue and poor sleep after brain injury. Participants  will receive 8 one-on-one sessions with a neuropsychologist to increase  understanding of the causes for fatigue and sleep disturbance and to learn strategies  to manage these symptoms. Participants will be asked to complete research  questionnaires to monitor symptoms through the course of the study.  

Inclusion Criteria

  • History of  traumatic brain injury or stroke
  • Aged between 16 –  70
  • Clinically significant  symptoms of fatigue and/or poor sleep

Exclusion Criteria

  • Insufficient  understanding of English or severe communication deficits
  • Progressive neurological condition (e.g. dementia, brain  tumour)
  • Known sleep  apnoea (will be screened at initial assessment)
  • Current severe  psychiatric symptoms
  • Current alcohol  or drug misuse

Location: Epworth Richmond, Monash Psychology Centre (Notting  Hill) or web-based

Contact: Sylvia Nguyen (Study Coodinator)
Phone:  9426 8923

Longitudinal  head injury outcomes – A healthy control comparison

This study is interested in comparing  the abilities of those with a brain injury to those who have not experienced a  brain injury. Participants will be required to complete a 30-45 minute online  questionnaire which asks about physical mobility, independent living skills,  occupational and thinking abilities, relationships, emotional issues, coping  strategies, fatigue, alcohol and drug use. Participants who complete the  questionnaire receive a $20 Coles Myer gift card.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Male
  • 18-35 years of  age
  • Less than 13  years of education

Exclusion Criteria

  • Female
  • Have previously  had a head injury that resulted in loss of consciousness or hospitalisation
  • Are suffering  from dementia or memory impairment
  • Suffer fits or  have been diagnosed with epilepsy
  • Have had or  currently have a brain tumor
  • Have been  admitted to hospital for a psychiatric illness
  • Have required treatment  for drug or alcohol use

Location: Web-based

Contact: Amelia Hicks, Olivia McConchie, Marina Downing  (Study Coodinators)
Phone:  9426 8923

Positive  Behaviour Study

This is an  intervention study for challenging behaviour following Brain Injury (BI). The  intervention is provided at no cost to the participant.

What are we offering?

  • 12 month therapy program where you will work with a team of therapists to achieve goals that are important to you.
  • The team may include neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and others.
  • The team of therapists will help you make changes towards goals through a variety of strategies.
  • You will work with them to decide which strategies work best for you, and practise them in your everyday life.
  • People in your environment (e.g. family, friends, carers) will also be invited to support you as part of the program.
  • You will be randomly assigned to receive the therapy in either the first or second year of the study.
  • You will be asked to complete research questionnaires throughout the study.

Inclusion criteria

  • If you have had a brain injury (e.g. traumatic brain injury, hypoxic brain injury, stroke)
  • If you are 18 to 65 years old
  • If you experience:
    • Shouting, yelling, swearing
    • Lashing out, hitting
    • Wandering off
    • Difficulties with how you behave with other people
    • Difficulties with getting started
    • Any other difficulties with your behaviour
  • If you have a family member, close friend or support person who can also complete the research measures
  • If you do not currently receive any therapy for your behaviour
  • If you live in Victoria

Contact: Dr Kate Gould
Phone: 0473 370 030

Amelia Hicks
Tel: 9426 8923

Memory Rehabilitation Study

Memory difficulties are common after a brain injury. This research study will compare  two different approaches to memory rehabilitation: computer-based training and  participation in the Memory Skills Group.

Participants will be randomly  allocated into six weeks of either a computer group, the Memory Skills group or a waitlist group.

  • Computer group: Participants will complete computerised memory games “brain training” at home for 30 minutes five times a week
  • Memory Skills group: Participants will complete a group program where you learn practical memory strategies and education. Sessions are held weekly at Epworth

Participants will also have three visits with a researcher to complete questionnaires and memory assessment task.  Participants allocated to the computer or waitlist group are able to complete  the Memory Skills Group following the study period.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Have had a brain  injury such as a traumatic brain injury or a stroke
  • Experience memory  problems
  • Are over the age of 18 and have sufficient English language skills

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients who have a degenerative condition impacting their memory including any form of  dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and brain tumour
  • Participants who are unable to provide written informed consent
  • Patients who are not proficient in English
  • Patients whose cognitive or physical function would preclude participation in a group and/or completion of the computerised training as judged by their treating  neuropsychologist.

Contact: Dr Felicity Lorains:
Phone: 9426 8709

Longitudinal head injury study –  Influence of cultural backgrounds

Within a multicultural society, people from different cultural backgrounds often have different beliefs and practices with regard to illness and injury. Little is known about the experiences of people from different cultural backgrounds  following traumatic brain injury. This study will aim to obtain a better understanding of the ways in which cultural beliefs influence rehabilitation  and outcomes following traumatic brain injury. By obtaining this information, health professionals can provide the most appropriate care to a culturally diverse patient population and their families.

Participation  will require approximately one hour of your time. You will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires, covering  demographics, preferred language, views regarding injury and recovery and assessing  your English language proficiency. You will also complete a measure of your motivation and attitudes toward rehabilitation and rehabilitation therapists, a measure of your ability to carry out day to day activities (eg, housework) and your employment status, and a measure of physical, social and occupational functioning. In addition, we will also be  obtaining information relating to your injury and your rehabilitation history  from your medical files.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Have sustained a traumatic brain injury
  • Born overseas (excluding UK, USA & NZ)
  • Non-English speaking background
  • Aged 18 or above

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients who have had a previous TBI, or currently have a degenerative condition  including any form of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and  brain tumour

Contact: Kathryn Biernacki
Phone: 9426 8709