Cabrini Epidemiology

Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology – Cabrini

The focus of this department is to perform high quality clinical research with an emphasis on answering clinically important questions that can be translated into better quality patient care and outcomes.  We have performed an array of randomised controlled trials of promising new treatments for a range of musculoskeletal conditions. We manage the Australian Rheumatology Association Database, which is assessing the long-term health of patients with arthritis and particularly the outcomes of new therapies. The department also houses one of two editorial bases for Cochrane Musculoskeletal (the other base is in Ottawa, Canada) and the administrative office of the Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal (ANZMUSC) Clinical Trials Network. From 2017 a major focus will be on our new 5-year NHMRC program grant (APP111353), entitled Using healthcare wisely: reducing inappropriate use of tests and treatments, a part of the Wiser Healthcare collaboration. This program of work seeks to systematically investigate the problem of over-testing, over-diagnosis, and over-treatment and develop and test sustainable solutions. We are also part of the newly funded NHMRC Partnership Centre in Health System Sustainability (2017-11). Various other local, national and international bodies support the department’s research.


Professor Rachelle Buchbinder
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow
Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology
Suite 41, Cabrini Health, 183 Wattletree Road
Malvern VIC 3144
Phone: +61 3 9508 1652
Fax: +61 3 9508 1653


Dr Margaret Staples, Biostatistician (
Dr Renea Johnston, Managing Editor, Australian Editorial Base, Cochrane Musculoskeletal (
Dr Susan Slade, Research Fellow (
Dr Allison Bourne, Research Fellow (
Ms Joan McPhee, ARAD state co-ordinator (
Ms Vibhasha Chand, ARAD database manager (
Mrs Cathy Matthews, Administrative Assistant (

Current and completed undergraduate and postgraduate students (2010–)

Ms Megan Blackburn – PhD (Deakin University, 2010–)
Dr Bethan Richards – PhD (University of Sydney, 2011–)
Mr Julian Segan – Honours, BMedSci (Monash University, 2012)
Ms Rebecca Jessup – PhD (Deakin University, 2013–)
Ms Kelly Joyce – MPH (Monash University, 2014–2016)
Mr Shezhaad Peerbux – Honours, BBiomedSci (Monash University, 2014)
Mr Chris Lui – Honours, BMedSci (Monash University, 2017)


Current programs of work

  • NHMRC Program Grant: Using healthcare wisely: reducing inappropriate use of tests and treatments
  • NHMRC Partnership Centre in Health System Sustainability
  • The Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD)
  • Cochrane reviews for Cochrane Musculoskeletal
  • Development of a decision support tool for patients considering arthroscopic treatment for degenerative knee disease (osteoarthritis, degenerative meniscal tears
  • The health literacy profile of patients in various hospital and other setting
  • Complementary medicine use in people with inflammatory arthritis
  • Acute low back pain presenting to the Emergency Department: The patient journey
  • Comparative effectiveness of ultrasound-guided injection with either autologous platelet rich plasma or glucocorticoid for ultrasound-proven lateral epicondylitis: a three-arm randomised placebo-controlled trial (NHMRC Project Grant 1049823, 2013–27)
  • SUcceSS: SUrgery for Spinal Stenosis – a randomised placebo-controlled trial (NHMRC Project Grant APP1125140, 2017–21)
  • Development of a core set of outcomes for shoulder trials, part of the OMERACT initiative

Volunteers wanted

We are seeking volunteers for our tennis elbow study

More information

Major achievements

Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT): This is a reporting guideline developed to improve the reporting of exercise interventions in clinical trials (to be used as a subsidiary to the CONSORT Statement). It is available on the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network website (

The Australia & New Zealand Musculoskeletal (ANZMUSC) Clinical Trials Network is a new collaboration of over 100 leading and emerging clinician-researchers from more than 30 disciplines, consumers and other stakeholders formed in 2015 to optimise musculoskeletal health through high quality, collaborative clinical research and to build research capacity in this field.