The Better Drive Study

RESEARCH STUDY

TRIAL OF DRIVING INTERVENTIONS TO ENHANCE SKILLS IN OLDER ADULTS

Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and The University of New South Wales are seeking older adults as research volunteers to trial driving interventions to improve driving in later life.

This study will be suited to you if:

  • You are aged over 65
  • have a current drivers license and drive regularly
  • plan to keep driving

What would happen if I took part in the research project?

The study will run for 24 months and if you decide to take part you would:

  • Have your vision, memory and reactions tested at NeuRA and have an on the road driving test through a pre-determined route. Follow up assessments will occur at 3, 12 and 24 months.
  • Be randomly allocated to one of three driving skills refresher programs: 1) classroom education 2) classroom education and tailored feedback and action planning on your driving skills 3) classroom education, tailored feedback and action planning on your driving skills and 2 on the road driving lessons with a trained instructor
  • Keep monthly driving diaries

No impact on license – research only

Expression of Interest

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Contact

If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study please contact The Better Drive Team

Email: betterdrive@neura.edu.au

Phone: 02 9399 1135

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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