StandingTall Plus

RESEARCH STUDY

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have adapted our trial so that we can continue our research while maintaining the safety of our participants and staff. All previous face-to-face assessments and home-visits will now be conducted remotely using Telehealth methods (video calls).

The  StandingTall-Plus study is investigating the effectiveness of a home-based balance and cognitive exercise program in reducing the number of falls in older people over a 12-month follow-up period. We are also collaborating with the Black Dog Institute to offer online cognitive behavioural therapy to address a fear of falling and depressive thoughts. The program is tailored to each individual’s requirements.

Half of the volunteers will be asked to use the  StandingTall-Plus program at home, while the other half will be asked to continue with their usual activities. All volunteers will undergo assessments of their physical and cognitive status.

Please note we have now concluded recruitment for this trial. We want to thank all participants involved.

If you are interested in participating in similar studies, please click here

We are also running an international implementation study of StandingTall in parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Northern England, for more information visit: https://www.neura.edu.au/project/international-implementation-study-of-standingtall/

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Abdominal muscle stimulation to improve bowel function in spinal cord injury

Bowel complications, resulting from impaired bowel function, are common for people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). As a result, people with a SCI have high rates of bowel related illness, even compared with those with other neurological disorders. This includes high rates of abdominal pain, constipation, faecal incontinence and bloating. These problems lower the quality of life of people with a SCI and place a financial burden on the health system. A treatment that improves bowel function for people with a SCI should reduce illness, improve quality of life and lead to a large cost saving for health care providers. Bowel problems have traditionally been managed with manual and pharmacological interventions, such as digital rectal stimulation, enemas, and suppositories. These solutions are usually only partially effective, highlighting the need for improved interventions. The abdominal muscles are one of the major muscle groups used during defecation. Training the abdominal muscles should improve bowel function by increasing abdominal pressure. During our previous Abdominal FES research with people with a SCI, we observed that Abdominal FES appeared to lead to more consistent and effective bowel motion. However, this evidence remains anecdotal. As such, we are going to undertake a large randomised controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of Abdominal FES to improve the bowel function of people with a SCI. This study will make use of a novel measurement system (SmartPill, Medtronic) that can be swallowed to measure whole gut and colonic transit time. We will also assess whether Abdominal FES can change constipation-related quality of life and the use of laxatives and manual procedures, as well as the frequency of defecation and the time taken. A positive outcome from this study is likely to lead to the rapid clinical translation of this technology for people living with a SCI.
PROJECT