Research in progress

Grants awarded 2018

  • Improving responses to Intimate Partner Violence in the veteran community

    $49,990 – Dr Sean Cowlishaw, Senior Research Fellow, Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

    High levels of IPV are expected among military personnel suffering post-traumatic mental health problems. While there is growing evidence from the US regarding IPV prevalence and interventions in military populations, there is no comparable research from Australia. This project will examine the frequency of IPV among Australian veterans and their families as reported by mental health service providers, and evaluate the readiness of services to respond. This project will provide preliminary evidence of the need for systematic responses to IPV in veteran and family support services in Australia.

  • Understanding older veterans in the community: who are they and what are their health and social care needs?

    $35,805 – Georgina Johnstone, Research Officer, Bolton Clarke Research Institute

    This analysis of a 10-year longitudinal dataset aims to profile the health and social care needs of more than 13,000 older people receiving home-based nursing care funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Understanding the health and wellbeing needs of veterans receiving community-based nursing services is important, particularly with another large cohort of veterans entering old age.  

  • Women serving in the ADF: an exploration of genitourinary health issues

    $34,905 – Dr Simone O’Shea, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University

    Serving women are increasingly performing more physically-demanding and diverse roles in the ADF. And a larger female workforce requires broader consideration of female health care. The unique physical work requirements of many military roles mean service women may be placed at higher risk of genitourinary health issues (such as incontinence, urinary tract infections and pelvic organ prolapse). A better understanding of these issues will guide interventions for better female genitourinary health, occupational health, safety and performance.

  • A clinical trial to measure the success of integrative approaches for musculoskeletal health, chronic pain and associated conditions in military personnel and veterans

    $49,500 – Dr Jon Wardle, Associate Professor of Public Health, NHRMC Translating Research into Practice Fellow, Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of technology Sydney

    Despite significant military integration of complementary medicine (CM) in other countries, there appears to have been little integration of CM in the treatment of Australian military personnel, despite high use by that population. Most use of CM by serving personnel and veterans in Australia is self-administered rather than practitioner-assisted. This project will examine the clinical and societal impact of incorporating evidence-based CM into the care of serving and ex-serving personnel, and assess clinical improvements, resource or costs savings, or other benefits for patients.

Grants awarded 2017

  • A trial of N-acetylcysteine for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that hasn’t improved with normal treatment.

    $192,816 -  Professor Richard Kanaan, Chair of Psychiatry, Austin Health University of Melbourne

    This study aims to investigate the efficacy of NAC as an adjunct to first line treatment in treatment-resistant PTSD in a definitive randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The primary outcome measures will be the core PTSD symptoms, measured by the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Secondary outcomes will include depressive symptoms, substance use, functioning, and quality of life.


  • Longitudinal pathways in the development of physical and psychological disorders in military personnel and veterans

    $63,944 - Dr Helen Kelsall, Senior Research Fellow, Monash University

    The objectives are to investigate whether physical and psychological disorders/conditions at baseline (including MSD, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic fatigue, multisymptomatic illness, and psychological disorders (depression, PTSD, and alcohol use disorders) are predictive of the incidence of physical and psychological disorders/conditions at follow up (including other conditions such as sleep disorders and irritable bowel syndrome that were only assessed at follow up).

  • Diagnosis and follow-up of concussion after mild traumatic brain injury

    $49,688 - Professor Biswadev Mitra, Head Clinical Research, National Trauma Research Institute

    The objective of this study is to assess the novel bio-markers in conjunction with routinely used cognitive tests to evaluate participants who suffered an injury to the head and are at risk of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. The secondary aim is to assess these biomarkers along with cognitive testing over 4 weeks to correlate changes in biomarker levels to cognitive tests.

Grants awarded 2016

  • Online treatment program for mental health and alcohol use for contemporary veterans

    $123,068 – Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin, UNSW and University of Newcastle

    The project will evaluate the effectiveness of online therapy (SHADE model) for the treatment of mood and hazardous alcohol and substance use in contemporary veterans (45 years and younger). Partnering with the ex-serving organisation community, the project will recruit at least 150 ex-serving ADF personnel and evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot program.  The findings will inform any recommendation to integrate eHealth programs such as SHADE in the ex-serving community.

Grants awarded 2012 

  • Preventing bone and muscle injury during Army recruit training

    $263,078 over 3 years - Belinda Beck, Griffith University

    Lower limb injuries are the cause of the greatest number of days lost to military training and represent one of the largest associated costs to Defence. Bone injuries take the longest to heal and are the most common cause of medical discharge from the Army. This project proposes a conditioning program prior to recruit training, with a view to reducing the rate of injury. Stage 1 will involve a retrospective audit of injuries over the past five years at the Kapooka training centre. Stage 2 will examine the effect of a four-month targeted musculoskeletal pre-conditioning program on the rate of injuries. The relationship of an individual's physical and behavioural characteristics will also be evaluated.