Affiliated Research

MAPrc has participated in a number of affiliated research programs. For further information, please see the menu on the right.

Aged Psychiatry

The Research Unit within Caulfield Aged Psychiatry has experienced its busiest year yet. This is most encouraging, having only commenced work in 2009.

Our main research activities for the year have involved ongoing work on two large, industry-funded clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of potential disease-modifying concepts in Alzheimer’s disease. Both are sponsored by eli Lilly, and are known as the LZAN and LZAO studies resectively.
 
A further industry-sponsored Alzheimer’s trial, sponsored by Velacor Therapeutics, commenced in January 2010, with a study sponsored by Prana Biotechnology also due to start in March 2012. The research unit has now established itself as a sought-after site by industry partners, and we receive numerous expressions of interest from big pharmaceutical companies in relation to conducting further research with us.
 
Recently Janssen Pharmaceuticals have agreed to fund a 50-patient, Melbourne-based study into the effects of the injectable antipsychotic Invega Sustenna on elderly patients with schizophrenia. This is a Caulfield-based initiative and is proposed to involve four other Melbourne-based sites over a two-year period.
 

Aged Psychiatry team

Team Leader
Dr Andrew Gleason FRANZCP
 
Clinical Trials Manager
Dr Mary Panjari
 
Clinical trials Coordinator 

Maree Mastwyk RN RPN
Ms Sue Dal Sasso 
 
Research Nurse
Ms Jenny Bortoli RN
Ms Jenny Nam 

Aged Psychiatry: current projects

Protocol H8A-MC-LZAN - Effect of Passive Immunisation on the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease: LY2062430 versus Placebo (Lilly) – concludes June 2012

Protocol H8A-MC-LZAO - Effect of Passive Immunisation on the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease: LY2062430 versus Placebo. An Open-Label Extension Study (Lilly) – concludes December 2013

A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and the Biological and Cognitive Effects of VEL015 (Sodium Selenate) in Patients with Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease – a Pilot Study (Velacor Therapeutics) – in progress, recruiting

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and tolerability of PBT2, and its effect on amyloid deposition in the brains of patients with prodromal or mild Alzheimer’s disease. (Prana Biotechnology) – commencing March 2012

Neuropsychological Characteristics of Patients Referred With Senile Squalor (self-funded; in progress)

Psychogeriatric nursing homes in Victoria: a comparison of models of care (self-funded; in progress)

Effect on the family carer post-institutionalisation of the patient with dementia (self-funded; awaiting HREC approval)

Effects of regular supervision upon paid professional carers within a nursing home environment (self-funded; awaiting HREC approval)

Effects of an educational programme targeting general practitioners (regarding the management of behaviours of concern) on psychotropic prescribing and adverse outcomes in nursing homes: a pilot study (self-funded; in protocol development)

Efficacy and safety of paliperidone long-acting injection in elderly people with schizophrenia (proposed, involving 5 local sites, external funding secured, in protocol development)

A pilot study to evaluate the use of mobile computing within a community aged psychiatry service (internally funded, in protocol development)

 

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Alfred Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) offers mental health care to infants, children and youths and their families or carers.  People who live in the cities of Port Phillip, Stonnington, Glen Eira, Bayside and Ports of Kingston are eligible to use Alfred CAMHS.

We are actively looking to increase the amount and quality of research that we are doing and we have a particular interest in practice-based evidence.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health team

Chief Investigator/Team Leader   
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

Researchers               
Louise Newman
Paul Denborough
 

Child and Adolescent Mental Health: current projects

1. Intervening in child trauma

Aim   
The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of child trauma and to assess an evidence-based intervention

Participants 
  
Children and youth from Israel and Australia

Project status   
This project is due to commence soon

Researchers   
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni
Louise Newman
Paul Denborough

2. Theory of mind, emotion recognition and temperament: association with social functioning in children and adolescents.

Aim   
The aim of this project is to look at factors that might be linked with the difficulties some young people have in getting along with others

Participants and methods
Young people, completing a variety of questionnaires

Project status   
This project is currently ongoing.

Researchers   
Emma Newton
Paul Denborough

3. Client-directed, outcome-informed practice pilot

Aim
The purpose of this project is to pilot the introduction of an effectiveness measure of the clinical work of the Alfred Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Participants
The project involves 8 clinicians and 50 families

Methods
Clinician and carer satisfaction with the CDOI practice is being measured.

Project status
The pilot commenced in June 2009 and is currently under way.

Researchers   
Rachel Barbara-May
Paul Denborough
Stuart Lee

4. Sharing reports with families

Aim
This project aims to improve collaborative practice at the CAMHS and to improve the usefulness of assessment reports.

Participants
The Middle South team

Methods
Information is collected via a telephone survey of clients and a staff satisfaction survey.

Status       
This project is in the planning stages.

Researchers   
Dr Campbell Thorpe
Michelle Knuckey

5. How parents inform children about autism

Aim
The purpose of this project is to find out baseline information about how and at what age parents inform their children about autism spectrum disorder.

Participants   
20 families who came to Alfred CAMHS through the DAP Program.

Methods
Families that agree to participate will be interviewed and baseline data will be collected.

Status       
This study is currently in preparation.

Researchers   
Mary Fleming
Jenny Harrison

6. Satisfaction survey of autism assessment service

Aim
The study sets out to survey past families to measure satisfaction and identify areas for program improvement.

Participants   
55 clients of the service.

Methods       
The 55 clients were sent a 31-item questionnaire to complete.

Status       
Complete in 2009

Researchers
Roger Pelletier

7. Use of interpretation in children under 3 years old

Aim
This study examined what interventions are effective when working psychotherapeutically with 2 years olds.

Methods       
Literature review.

Status       
Completed in 2009

Researchers
Rosalie Birkin

8. Children of mentally ill patients

Aim
The purpose of the project is to examine the engagement and needs of children of clients attending Adult Psychiatry.

Methods
Information is collected via file audit

Status
This study is currently ongoing

Researcher
Sharon Sutherland
 

Medicine of the Mind

The Medicine of the Mind team is responsible for teaching psychiatry, psychology and psychological medicine. Its mission is ‘to deliver a seamless education in psychiatry and related disciplines across the breadth of the undergraduate medical course’.

Specifically, this involves: teaching into the Years 1 and 2 of the MBBS course via the Human Lifespan Development and Health and Human Behaviour subjects as well as a Year 1 elective; directing students’ clinical placement for Psychiatry  during Year 4; and a Year 5 selective subject. Medicine of the Mind also teaches students in the Radiography, Dietetics and Medical Science courses.

Over the past twelve months, Medicine of the Mind has remodelled several aspects of its teaching in the undergraduate medical course in Years 1, 4 and 5, as well as in Year 1 of the Radiography course.

The review and remodelling process aims to achieve several things: to research new and vibrant models for teaching psychiatry; to encourage, recruit and reward vibrant teachers; to use staff and materials more efficiently; and to smooth the process by which students acquire the psychology and psychiatry knowledge they will need to be doctors.

Coordinating all teaching through one office helps eliminate duplication and gaps in teaching, ensures consistency in content and facilitates sharing of resources such as staff, materials, ideas, research, forums and simulations.

Students see the same tutors across the years, which provides them with a consistent reference person and fosters development of personal relationships, mentoring and modelling of professional development. Medicine of the Mind also involves psychiatry registrars in its teaching program to foster peer learning. 

 

Medicine of the Mind team

Director, Undergraduate Medical Education
Prof Rob Selzer

Deputy Director
Dr Revi Nair

Administration
Anne Crawford

Innovations

Medicine of the Mind has introduced a number of innovations and continues to identify opportunities to improve students’ learning experience.

Teaching

1. Clinical placement
In response to students’ feedback, the Year 4 clinical placement has been changed from a split 18-week semester alternating psychiatry and general practice to a continuous 9-week program that emphasises clinically based learning and teaching. Students are embedded in a team and expected to play an active role. All clinical staff and students are provided with clear guidelines about the students’ roles and responsibilities.

2. PEERLS
Instead of traditional case-study-based workshops, PEERLS (Professionalism, Ethics, Evidence-base, Roles, Legal, Systemic) has been developed to help students integrate clinical experiences with theory. PEERLS sessions are patient-based, but held away from the bedside. They are led by a clinician /expert, and involve the tutor sharing his/her knowledge and experience.

3. Resources
So far, Medicine of the Mind has produced a book for students that provides an introductory overview to psychiatry and also a video journal.

Technology

Medicine of the Mind seeks to make maximum use of technology to improve teaching and maximise opportunities for students.

1. Web-based video instructions for PEERLS tutors
These provide an easily accessible guide for PEERLS session tutors.

2. COAT – Computerised OSCE Assessment Tool
This system simplifies and speeds up the process of collecting and posting results of students’ practical OSCE (Observed Structured Clinical Evaluation) exams.

3. TICLE – Texting to Improve the Clinical Learning Experience
By making better use of text messaging, students can be advised of last-minute schedule changes, interesting clinical cases and events. This helps avoid delays, bottlenecks and missed learning opportunities.

4. Exam database
A database of past questions by topic, difficulty, etc facilitates the preparation of examinations.