The impact of menstrual symptoms on work in Australia
Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute and the School of Business are interested in finding out if menstrual symptoms, such as period pain or heavy periods, affect people’s ability to either go to work (such as having to use sick leave) or affect how productive they feel they are at work. We are interested to find out if the amount of period pain you have (if you do have pain) is related to how your work is impacted. Many people also often avoid talking about menstruation (periods) due to feeling embarrassed, so we are also interested in finding out if you feel comfortable talking to your employer, boss or supervisor about any work related issues you have due to your period, and if you do, does your employer support you. The aim of this research is to see if women are being affected by their menstrual symptoms at work, and to use this information to help determine if there is need for more support or education at work to help reduce any negative impact that menstrual symptoms like severe period pain could have on your work.
We are inviting people aged over 18, living in Australia, who have had at least one period in the last three months and who are currently employed to fill in a short, anonymous 10-15 minute online survey here: https://surveyswesternsydney.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5jwYqq3dXo7kNRH
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 70.22 KB) (opens in a new window)
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Associate Professor Maria Varua
Partner/Funding Body: NICM and Western Sydney University
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H13583.
Medicinal cannabis for period pain
Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute are inviting women with period pain to participate in online research focus groups to explore if medicinal cannabis might be a potentially acceptable treatment for period pain and other menstrual symptoms.
We are looking for women living in Australia and aged over 18 who experience moderate to severe period pain on a regular basis but do not have a diagnosed cause such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This type of period pain is often referred to as ‘primary dysmenorrhea’. Previous cannabis usage (either recreational or medicinal) is NOT required, and we would like to hear from all eligible women, even if you have had a bad experience with cannabis or have never used it before.
This study will require participants to complete a short anonymous online questionnaire and then attend an online focus group that will last for 60-70 minutes. The topics discussed will be guided by the group on the day but will cover topics like what are women’s current self-management strategies for period pain, any potential barriers or concerns regarding medicinal cannabis usage, what outcomes should we be tracking and how we can make participation in research easiest for you.
For more information or to register your interest, please contact either Dr Mike Armour, chief investigator, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Justin Sinclair, PhD Candidate, via email email@example.com
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 71.51 KB) (opens in a new window)
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Mr Justin Sinclair
Partner/Funding Body: Spectrum Cannabis
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H13538.
Acupuncture for the treatment of endometriosis related chronic pelvic pain: A feasibility study – Healthy Controls CPM and EEG
Women with pelvic pain caused by endometriosis often have pain that continues despite medical or surgical treatment. A variety of pain inhibiting mechanisms exist in several parts of the brain and spinal cord. In individuals with various chronic pain conditions several of these mechanisms have been shown to be dysfunctional. Our clinical trial (ACTRN12617000053325) on women with endometriosis has been completed and we now need to compare the results from these women with healthy people of a similar age so that we know if their descending pain pathways are not working optimally. We need healthy volunteers to help us understand how pain control mechanisms in the brain work in healthy young women.
For more information or to register your interest, please contact Dr Mike Armour, chief investigator, on mobile 0415 363 201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 152.43 KB) (opens in a new window)
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Dr Genevieve Steiner, Professor Caroline Smith, Associate Professor Xiaoshu Zhu, Professor Robert Barry (UoW), Dr Siobhan Schabrun, Dr Jing Song, Professor Jason Abbott (UNSW).
Partner/Funding Body: NICM and Western Sydney University.
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H11984.
Menstrual health literacy and the management of period pain in young Australian women: a nation-wide online survey
Many young women suffer from problems with their menstrual cycle,1 often having pain during or just before their period. Research at NICM and Western Sydney University are interested to find out how these kinds of symptoms affect young women's social, school or work life, how young women decide what a 'normal' period is, and how they deal with any period related symptoms. Participants will be asked to fill in a 15-30 minute online survey, which can be found here (opens in a new window).
This research will help identify areas where education on menstrual health can be improved, and will help shape future educational materials to improve young women's ability to manage their menstrual symptoms and identify any problematic symptoms that require further investigation.
For more information, please contact Dr Mike Armour, chief investigator, on mobile 0415 363 201 or email email@example.com.
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 57.68 KB) (opens in a new window).
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Professor Kath Holmes, Professor Caroline Smith, Associate Professor Tania Ferfolja, Dr Christina Curry, Dr Freya Macmillan
Partner/Funding Body: NICM, Western Sydney University and U by Kotex.
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H12411.
1 Parker MA, Sneddon AE, Arbon P. The menstrual disorder of teenagers (MDOT) study: determining typical menstrual patterns and menstrual disturbance in a large population-based study of Australian teenagers. 2010. BJOG; 117(2); 185-192. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02407.x
The effectiveness and cost of endometriosis self-care in Australian women: a nationwide survey
NICM researchers are inviting women with endometriosis to participate in a study to help identify self-care techniques used in the management of endometriosis. Self-care can include breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, yoga, herbal therapies, cannabis or alcohol usage.
Participants of the study will need to complete a 15 - 30 minute online survey, answering questions about their self-care practices in the management of their endometriosis. The survey should be completed in one sitting.
The survey will help identify the self-care techniques currently used by women with endometriosis and may direct future research to help improve outcomes for women with endometriosis.
Women who are interested in the study can contact Dr Mike Armour, chief investigator, on mobile 0415 363 201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 119.49 KB)(opens in a new window)
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Mr Justin Sinclair, Professor Caroline Smith, Ms Jane Chalmers
Partner/Funding Body: Western Sydney University
The cost and impact of chronic pelvic pain in Australia: Focus groups.
Researchers from NICM and UNSW are inviting women with chronic pelvic pain to participate in research focus groups to explore their personal experiences of living with chronic pelvic pain.
Participants of the study may benefit from the chance to interact and share common experiences with other women living with chronic pelvic pain. More broadly, participant's experiences and views will contribute a better understanding of the experience of chronic pelvic pain for women living in Australia. This increased understanding will identify any areas of unmet need that women with pelvic pain are experiencing in their healthcare.
This study will require participants to attend a 90-100 minutes focus group in Sydney. The topics discussed will be guided by the group on the day, but will cover the experience participants have had in the following areas: the diagnosis of pelvic pain, the symptoms experienced, the impact pelvic pain may have had on their social life, sports/leisure activities and romantic/sexual relationships, the impact pelvic pain may have had on their education or work life, and what treatments (conventional or complementary) or lifestyle changes participants have found worked, or did not work, for their pelvic pain.
People who are interested in the study can contact Dr Mike Armour, Chief Investigator, on mobile 0415363201 or email email@example.com.
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 706.07 KB) (opens in a new window)
Researchers: Dr Mike Armour, Professor Caroline Smith, Mrs Jane Chalmers, Dr Sowbhagya Micheal, and Associate Professor Jason Abbott.
Partner/Funding Body: Western Sydney University
Electrophysiological biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease
Are you over 60, and still as sharp as a tack? Or do you know somebody with memory problems? If so, then please keep reading!
Purpose of the study:
This project aims to increase our knowledge of the brain activity that relates to the problems with memory and thinking that occur in the pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer's disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This is important for understanding the disease and how it works (basic science), as well as for the development of effective, targeted treatments (translational research). This project will compare the brain activity and cognitive abilities of 20 people with MCI and 20 age-matched healthy people.
What does participation in this research involve?
If you decide to participate in the project, you will be contacted via telephone for a brief screening interview. If you meet the criteria for the trial, you will be invited to attend a testing session which involves completing a consent form, an interview and some forms about your general health, and a computerised cognitive task. You will then be fitted with an electrode cap and will be asked to complete another series of cognitive tasks whilst the electrical activity of your brain is recorded. The entire procedure is expected to take around 3 hours. If you are experiencing memory problems or have been told that you have MCI, you will also need a close family member of friend (e.g., spouse, sibling, child over 18 years old) to confirm that you have been experiencing problems with cognition either during the screening session or beforehand on the telephone or via email.
We are looking for participants who are:
* Over 60 years old
* Able to think and reason clearly and effectively OR
* Experiencing problems with memory and/or thinking
* Not diagnosed with dementia
* Not suffering from any serious health conditions
Further information and who to contact:
View the MCI Group (PDF, 228.34 KB) (opens in a new window) or the Healthy Group (PDF, 224.79 KB) (opens in a new window) information posters
Download the Participant Information Sheet (PDF, 150.95 KB) (opens in a new window)
If you would like any further information or you have any queries about the study, please contact Dr Genevieve Steiner or by phone: (02) 4620 3708
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H11152
Researchers: Dr Genevieve Steiner, Associate Professor Dennis Chang
Herbal Medicine to Treat Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and imposes a huge financial burden on the Australian health care system. Herbal medicine has been widely used in cardiovascular care in many countries for centuries. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence in support of the use of herbal medicine for the management of CVD, significant gaps exist in knowledge base surrounding mechanisms of action of these interventions. This project will focus on the evaluation of mechanisms of action of herbal formulations for coronary heart disease/stroke and vascular dementia, using both in vitro and in vivo models.
Researchers: Associate Professor Dennis Chang, Dr Sai Seto
A multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Sailuotong (SLT), a standardised Chinese herbal medicine formula in patients with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers: Associate Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Alan Bensoussan
Partner/Funding Body: Australia Shineway Technology Pty Ltd
A pilot randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Nao Xin Qing Pian (NXQ), in patients with ischemic stroke
Researchers: Associate Professor Dennis Chang, Professor Alan Bensoussan
Partner/Funding Body: Hutchison Whampoa Guangzhou Baiyunshan Chinese Medicine Co. Ltd
Validation of Chinese Quality of Life instrument
Researchers: Professor Kelvin Chan, Dr Valentina Naumovski
Synthesis and testing of novel tanshinone analogues
Researcher: Associate Professor Chun Guang Li