NeuRA Magazine #27

BETTER LABELLING ON CHILD CAR RESTRAINTS COULD INCREASE CORRECT USE BY 27%

A recent study by Associate Professor Julie Brown has revealed research statistics that show improved design of child restraint instructional materials could increase correct use by up to 27 per cent, saving lives and preventing injuries.

“Research undertaken at NeuRA identified a critical relationship between comprehension of instructional materials and errors in use,” said Associate Professor Brown. In a survey of 400 Australian parents, 90 per cent reported that they had read the instructions supplied with the restraints, yet high rates of incorrect use continue.

“This suggested instructional materials in their current form may not be effective in communicating how to use restraints correctly, and that we may need to take a new approach to how instructional materials are regulated in product standards,” said Associate Professor Brown.

As part of the study, researchers at NeuRA looked at the range of instructional materials provided by manufacturers of restraints. Following their review, Associate Professor Brown worked in collaboration with parents and users to develop a new set of prototype instructional materials for using child car restraints.

Using the new consumer-driven instructional materials 27 per cent more people attained correct use, and comprehension was 42 per cent higher. Injury is the leading cause of death and hospitalisation in Australia of children aged over one year.

Associate Professor Brown and her team at NeuRA are now taking this study from the lab to the real world to make child restraints in cars safer and more effective.

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LEAD!- Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia

Currently, there is no effective treatment for dementia, highlighting the urgent need to preventing more cases through evidence-based strategies for risk reduction. As there is an overlap between the risk factors for dementia and other preventable non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, it is important to build upon proven risk-reduction strategies. What is LEAD? LEAD! is a project funded by the NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant led by Professor Kaarin Anstey. It involves an international collaboration between leading academics, clinicians, consumers, and community members. Organisations involved include the Department of Health, WHO, Dementia Australia, Alzheimer’s Disease International, Diabetes Australia, and Heart Foundation. The project aims to translate dementia research and implement evidence-based strategies for dementia risk reduction to individuals, communities, and healthcare centres. Three workstreams The project has three concurrent workstreams over five years: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation and adoption. The Development stream, led by Professor Kaarin Anstey and Associate Professor Peters, focuses on building a new tool for predicting dementia and other non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes or myocardial infarction. The tool will be available to the public, researchers and clinicians. It will save clinical assessment time, accurately predict multiple outcomes and will be more acceptable in comparison to using individual tools for each disease outcome. The Implementation stream led by Professor Nicola Lautenschalger’s team at the University of Melbourne, will develop strategies to support the implementation of dementia risk reduction evidence by engaging with consumers, clinicians, policy makers, and the public. The stream will develop strategies for incorporating the new risk assessment tool into various technological platforms (e.g., websites or apps). The Evaluation and adoption stream, led by Professor Anstey and in collaboration with Professor Louisa Jorm and Dr Heidi Welberry at UNSW, focuses on measuring trajectories of Australian’s national risk factor profiles for multiple chronic diseases. Collaboration with key stakeholders including the WHO will help build an evaluation framework and methodology for implementing evidence on dementia risk reduction based on WHO guidelines at national level and in the global context.
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