This week, the Health Research Council of New Zealand announced the latest recipients of its prestigious research grants, and four AUT researchers from across the health sciences have received grants to support their research.
Psychosocial wellbeing after stroke: Understanding and enhancing care
36 months, $243,087.00
Psychosocial wellbeing is important for living well after stroke. It has four dimensions: a sense of pleasure, engagement in meaningful activities, good social relationships and a strong self-identity. However, it is not well-addressed in stroke services, with clinicians suggesting their ability to do so is limited by their work environment. This research aims to understand and enhance clinician and service capability to support psychosocial wellbeing in everyday care. We will examine current care practices through observations, interviews, and document review. We will identify how practice is influenced by the work environment and how practice and services can be enhanced to better support psychosocial wellbeing. We will work with stroke survivors and clinicians to prioritise areas for change and develop and share resources that can be immediately implemented to enhance care. These will help clinicians and services address psychosocial wellbeing after stroke, improving people’s outcomes and reducing long-term impact of stroke.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Education among Pacific Youth
36 months, $168,655.00
The project aims to examine and develop culturally responsive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education for Pacific Youth in New Zealand and will be based on the experiences of Pacific youth, community and sexual and reproductive health educators in a high school in South Auckland. The study responds to a need to address poor SRH outcomes and changing sexual and reproductive health socio-cultural norms and expectations experienced by Pacific youth. The study will use Talanoa and participatory action research methodologies to partner with Pacific youth in the exploration of SRH perspectives and realities; and to co-design, relevant culturally responsive SRH education and delivery. The study will provide greater understanding of traditional and western SRH norms and expectations and will provide a framework that will inform Pacific sexual and reproductive health education and delivery in New Zealand.
exciteBCI telerehabilitation: determining optimal dose and testing feasibility
24 months, $245,116 .00
Despite improvements in the prevention and acute management of stroke the number of strokes is projected to increase by 40% over the next ten years. Rehabilitation can reduce disability following stroke yet the availability of rehabilitation to people is limited. Research indicates that dose of rehabilitation is a key factor in reducing disability from a stroke. Yet there has been very little effort made to identify optimal dose of rehabilitation. This study builds on a carefully designed and tested brain stimulation intervention (exciteBCI), embeds it within a physiotherapy programme and delivers it remotely with psychologically sound, motivational telerehabilitation delivery methods. Before testing efficacy in a randomised controlled trial we need to know the optimal daily dose of task-specific exercise (number of repetitions) and the feasibility of using exciteBCI in people with stroke. Our aim is to determine optimal dose and investigate how well exciteBCI functions in a home setting.
ACTION-TBI: ACT to improve recovery after Traumatic Brain Injury
24 months, $249,308
Nearly half of people who experience a mild brain injury, also known as concussion, experience on-going symptoms and difficulties functioning in everyday life. Treatment is currently provided by ACC and includes provision of psychological support. However, there is currently a lack of scientific evidence as to the best approach to use. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy also known as ACT is believed to be one of the most promising approaches that also fits well with the Māori worldview. This feasibility study will test the whether the ACT approach can be tested within a community concussion service, whether the programme is culturally responsive, the ability to recruit patients into the study and to see whether there are any beneficial effects. Addressing these issues will allow us to conduct a full-scale clinical trial to determine clinical effectiveness of this treatment for people who experienced a mild brain injury.