MERRC Current recruitment study details

Understanding the Management of Patients in the Early Stage of Recovery after TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disability and death worldwide. Depending on the severity of TBI, patients may experience a loss of consciousness. After regaining consciousness, patients typically go through an acute stage of recovery characterised by confusion, disorientation, and impaired memory. The assessment and management of patients in this acute stage of recovery is not well-documented.

The aim of this study is to better understand the current practices of clinicians worldwide in the assessment and management of patients in the acute stage of recovery following TBI. Participation will involve completing an online survey, which relates to your management of TBI patients in the acute recovery period. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Upon completion of the survey, there is an option to participate in a follow-up interview via teleconference, relating to your management of agitation in TBI patients. The interview will take approximately 45 minutes and you will be reimbursed with a $25 USD equivalent voucher for participating in the interview.

Please click here to access the online survey:

The survey will be open until: November 2019

Inclusion Criteria

  • Experience providing care to patients in the acute stage of recovery after TBI

Contact: Sarah Carrier or Amelia Hicks
Phone:  03 9426 8923
Email: or

Managing sleep disturbance and fatigue following acquired brain injury

This study is interested in comparing cognitive behavioural therapy and health education therapy in treating fatigue and sleep problems after traumatic brain injury and stroke. Participants will receive 8 one-on-one sessions with a
neuropsychologist in either cognitive behavioural therapy or health education therapy. Participants will be asked to complete research questionnaires to monitor symptoms through the course of the study. This study can be completed in person (Melbourne) or via tele-health (Australia-wide).

Recruitment for this study will continue until: October 2019

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)
  • Untreated sleep apnoea (will be screened at initial assessment)
  • Use of medication for sleep/fatigue
  • Current severe psychiatric symptoms
  • Current alcohol or drug misuse

Location: Epworth Richmond, Monash Psychology Centre (Notting Hill) or tele-health
Contact: Lucy Ymer (Study Coordinator)
Phone:  03 9426 8923

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, and 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 (e.g., 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.

Recruitment is ongoing for this study.

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: Elinor Fraser 
Phone: 03 9426 8923

The return of memory following traumatic brain injury: follow-up study

Individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often have persisting memory difficulties lasting many years post-injury. This study aims to investigate how memory is affected in individuals with TBIs using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In particular, this project is designed to characterise the specific disturbances of memory processes and their relationship with damage to brain structures critical for the formation and modulation of normal memory functioning. Participants will undergo a functional MRI scan, wherein they will be administered novel memory tasks that examine encoding, consolidation, and retrieval of memory.

Participation will require approximately two hours of your time at Monash Biomedical Imaging - Clayton. You will be asked to undertake MRI scanning (involving 2 memory tasks inside the scanner for around 30 minutes and 40 minutes of lying still), 1 memory task outside of the scanner, 2 cognitive tasks, and a short series of questionnaires. You will be reimbursed $100 and provided with taxi vouchers to travel to and from the study site.

Recruitment for this study will continue until: December 2019

Inclusion criteria:

  • Have had a moderate to severe TBI
  • 1 – 3 years post injury
  • Between 18 – 70 years old
  • Reside in Melbourne (or willing to travel to Monash Biomedical Imaging, Clayton)
  • Able to speak conversational English
  • MRI compatible

Exclusion Criteria:

  • No previous brain trauma or neurological disease (e.g. stroke, encephalitis, epilepsy etc.)
  • No previous psychological history requiring hospitalization

Contact: Abbie Taing 
Phone: 03 9426 8923

The Aging Study – Healthy adults (40 and over) needed!

This study aims to examine the aging process in individuals who have sustained a TBI. Specifically, we are hoping to better understand the association between TBI with dementia and diseases of aging. This is an NHMRC funded study being conducted in collaboration with experts from the Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health. The study includes three study visits to complete four components, (1) research interview with thinking skills test, (2) MRI brain scan and (3) & (4) two PET brain scans. Participants will be reimbursed $100 per study component ($400 in total). Travel costs are also reimbursed.

Recruitment for this study will continue until the end of 2019.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Aged 40 or older
  • Able to speak conversational English
  • MRI compatible (e.g. no pacemaker, no cochlear ear implant)

Exclusion Criteria

  • History of traumatic brain injury
  • Existing neurological condition (e.g. epilepsy, MS)
  • Existing severe psychiatric condition (e.g. schizophrenia)
  • History of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Current drug or alcohol dependency
  • Currently pregnant or breastfeeding

It is hoped this study will advance our knowledge of whether a TBI can impact the aging process.

Contact: Amelia Hicks (study coordinator), Caroline Ayre or Olivia McConchie 
Phone: 03 9426 8923

Light therapy for Fatigue following Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke

Researchers at Monash University and Epworth HealthCare are conducting a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of light therapy to reduce fatigue, daytime sleepiness and sleep disturbance following traumatic brain injury and stroke. The study involves an in-home light therapy, which entails daily exposure to light of a certain wavelength. Participants are required to turn on certain lights during the day, and other lights at night. They receive two different light treatments across the course of the study, delivered over a period of 5.5 months.

Over the course of the study, participants meet with a researcher at their home on 6 occasions to answer some questionnaires. Questionnaires ask about levels of fatigue, daytime sleepiness and sleep disturbance, as well as mood, daily functioning and quality of life. They also complete a short task measuring your reaction time. Participants are required to wear a watch that measures sleep-wake behaviour and activity, as well as keeping a daily sleep diary and log of your general activities for each day.

Recruitment will continue until the end of 2019.

Inclusion criteria:

  • History of Traumatic Brain Injury or stroke (3 or more months prior)
  • Fatigue resulting from TBI or stroke
  • Reside in or near Melbourne
  • Able to speak conversational English

Exclusion Criteria

  • Psychiatric disorders requiring hospitalization
  • Presence of another medical illness accounting for fatigue

Contact: Laura Connolly
Phone: 03 9426 8923