Road Traffic Crash Injuries

Centre of Research Excellence in Recovery following Road Traffic Injuries (CRERTI) (CURRENT)

Funding: The CRERTI is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council

Investigators: Professor Michele Sterling, Professor Ian Cameron, Professor Kathryn Refshauge (OAM, FAHMS),Professor Alex Collie, Professor Danielle Mazza, Professor Luke Connelly, Professor Elizabeth Kendall, Professor Justin Kenardy, Professor Graham Galloway, Dr Bianca Brijnath, Dr Trudy Rebbeck, Dr Genevieve Grant

The issue: The Centre of Research Excellence addresses the urgent need to improve health outcomes for individuals with non-hospitalised road traffic crash injury through translational research, capacity building and end-user engagement focused on primary care and community-based interventions. The health burden created by major injuries, such as spinal cord and brain injury, is clearly recognised. What is not so well recognised is the costly impact associated with the large number of non-hospitalised injuries that occur each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

Aims of the CRE:

  1. Generate new knowledge to improved health outcomes
  2. Promote effective transfer of research outcomes into health policy and/or practice
  3. Develop the health and medical research workforce
  4. Facilitate collaboration
  5. Record of research and translation achievement (team of international experts in the area of road traffic crash injury)

Next steps:

The Centre of Research Excellence will provide a platform for the translation of evidence from our clinical and epidemiological research (i.e. studies of the physiological, psychological and social/environmental processes, disability and mental health problems; screening, prediction and outcome modelling) into innovative health delivery models and service delivery systems in primary care and other community settings. The Centre of Research Excellence will actively engage key stakeholders including policy makers, practitioners and consumers from the early stages of development of the research program. We will train the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers who will be exposed to the full scope of the problem from clinical and population-based research through to the challenges of implementation, practice and policy change. To achieve this, we will develop a nationally integrated training program and a hub for consolidating and expanding our national research and training initiatives. We will leverage complementary expertise in clinical and translational research to provide a high quality experience for the future research leaders in this field.

PhD Scholarship currently available!

Do you want to know more about this study? Contact us.

The GRIP study: General Practitioners’ Prevention and Management of Road Traffic Crash Injuries (COMPLETED)

Funding: The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) from 1 January 2014 to 1 June 2015, $60,000

Investigators: Danielle Mazza, Alex Collie, Bianca Brijnath, Michele Sterling, Peter Schattner, Nabita Singh

The issue: About two thirds of patients who are injured in a motor vehicle accident seek care in the primary care setting. GPs are one of the first and most trusted points of evidence by patients however little is known about the educational needs of GPs regarding the prevention and management of road traffic crash injuries. In order for GPs to provide optimal quality of care, it is necessary to address this gap.

What we did: A national postal survey was sent to 3000 GPs randomly selected from the Australian Medical Publishing Company Database. The survey comprised four parts: respondent characteristics, GP knowledge of whiplash associated disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (two most common non-hospitalised RTC injuries), GP attitudes to referral and return to work and GP education and training needs. Data were collected between July and December 2014.

What we found: There was discordance between GPs confidence-level in diagnosing and managing whiplash associated disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and their clinical knowledge on the subject. Older, male GPs practising in urban locations were significantly more confident in diagnosing and managing whiplash associated disorders than those GPs who were younger, female and practising in rural and remote locations (p<0.05). Compared with whiplash associated disorders, fewer GPs’ were confident in their ability to diagnose and manage PTSD; just under half were not confident in managing post-traumatic stress disorder (48.7%).

What’s next: The research team have recommended the following areas for future research activity:

  • A systematic review to identify the most efficacious strategies to engage GPs in further education and training
  • Concurrent development of a training package to address gaps in GPs clinical knowledge regarding whiplash and PTSD
  • A state-based pilot intervention that utilises an evidence-based implementation strategy to deliver the training materials to GPs
  • Escalating the pilot to a national phase 2 RCT and undertaking cost-effective analysis of the intervention

Do you want to know more about this study? Contact us.

Read more here:

General practitioners knowledge and management of whiplash associated disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder: implications for patient care. Brijnath B, Bunzli S, Xia T, Singh N, Schattner P, Collie A, Sterling M, Mazza D. BMC Fam Pract. 2016;17:82

Road traffic crashes result in a range of physical and psychological symptoms. This study explored the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Australian general practitioners (GPs) in caring for people following road traffic crashes, specifically whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A survey was conducted with 423 GPs from around Australia.

GPs had a good level of knowledge of WAD and PTSD in general, however they had encountered trouble with understanding imaging indicators for WAD and knowing when to refer patients with PTSD for psychological treatment. Most GPs would like to receive further training about managing road traffic crash injury.