Dr Craig Sinclair

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Postdoctoral Fellow (UNSW) Conjoint appointment at NeuRA
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at University of WA

02 9399 1095


Craig Sinclair is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, based at the University of New South Wales. His training is in psychology, and his key research interests include older adult decision-making, advance care planning and supported decision-making. He is committed to ensuring community and public involvement in research, and has been an invited (researcher) member of the NNIDR Consumer Involvement Reference Group. His recent work has generated a number of practical interventions aimed at educating and empowering people living with dementia, carers and professionals in the area of supported decision-making.

Projects Dr Craig Sinclair is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

The Enhanced Advance care planning and life Review Longitudinal Intervention (EARLI) Project

The EARLI project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (2022-2026) and is led by the University of New South Wales.

In this project, the researchers are investigating whether a combination of life story work (looking back over the life, using stories, photographs and other meaningful objects) and advance care planning (discussions about preferences for future care and treatment) can help older adults receiving aged care services at home.

 

The EARLI project will be partnering with a number of aged care organisations in Sydney and Perth, to recruit participants who are receiving aged care services at home.

 

The project team are currently running a nation-wide pilot survey, which is open to anyone who is 65 years or older, living independently in the community, and able to communicate in English, Chinese or Italian. If you would like to complete the survey, please follow this link https://redcap.link/earli-pilot-survey, or contact the research team if you require further assistance.

 

If you would like to contact the study team, please email earli-project@neura.edu.au or call (02) 9399 1095

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The Enhanced Advance care planning and life Review Longitudinal Intervention (EARLI) Project

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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LEAD!- Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia

CogDrisk- Cognitive health and Dementia Risk Assessment

Evidence related to dementia risk factors continues to increase with advancement in study methodology and more research being published in the field of dementia prevention. WHO guidelines for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia has published the latest evidence on the risk factors in mid and late life. There is a need of a new risk assessment tool that can be used both in population and clinical settings which would incorporate the latest evidence for the risk factors of dementia.

What is CogDrisk?

The CogDrisk project led by Professor Kaarin Anstey at NeuRA. The project aims to develop and validate a new risk assessment tool for assessing individual exposure to risk factors known to be associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. The tool will be developed from risk estimates selected from latest systematic reviews and meta-analyses. External validation of the tool will be carried out using five high standard international cohorts for discrimination and accuracy of predicting dementia cases.

Who will use the CogDrisk?

The assessment tool will be available online to the public, researchers and clinicians. Individuals aged 18 years and above can take the assessment to assess their risk of developing dementia, get a risk profile, and recommendations to reduce their risk of developing dementia. A risk score along with recommendations to reduce their dementia risk will be provided to individuals aged 60 years and above.

What are the benefits of the CogDrisk?

  • The CogDrisk website provides latest evidence on dementia, dementia risk factors and risk reduction.

Those who are interested to take the assessment (anyone over the age of 18 years) can do so at a time convenient to them and can redo the assessment later to see if they changed their risk of developing dementia.

  • Recommendations provided are based on National and International Guidelines.
  • The tool would also be used to identify individuals at high risk of developing dementia before they can be involved in clinical trials for dementia prevention.

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CogDrisk- Cognitive health and Dementia Risk Assessment

The Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project 

The Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project is co-hosted by the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales and has been led by Professor Anstey since 2006. It is a large on-going population-based longitudinal cohort study comprising approximately 7500 participants. The study includes three cohorts including a younger (aged 20–24 at baseline), midlife (aged 40–44 at baseline) and older (aged 60–64 at baseline) adults randomly sampled from the electoral roll of the ACT and the nearby city of Queanbeyan. Additional waves of data collection have occurred in 4-year increments, with the 5th wave of data collection underway. The study involves many national and international collaborations.

The broad aims of the PATH study relate to clinical outcomes that constitute the major burden of disease within the Australian community.

Primary PATH Objectives:

  • To delineate the course of depression, anxiety, substance use and cognitive ability with increasing age across the adult life span
  • To identify environmental risk, genetic risk and protective factors influencing individual differences in the course of these characteristics
  • To investigate interrelationships over time between the three domains of: depression and anxiety, substance use, and cognitive ability and dementia
  • To examine the mental health related impact of various personal, social and lifestyle transitions and events experienced by the different age cohorts, including infertility, fertility and pregnancy, changes in family structure, relationship formation and separation, menopause, and retirement.

Several design features of the PATH project contribute to its unique standing among population-based longitudinal cohort studies.

  • Obtaining measures of genetic, biological (including MRI), psychosocial and lifestyle risk and protective factors for mental health and wellbeing
  • Use of a narrow age cohort design with longitudinal follow ups as an optimal means of separating age and cohort effects
  • Assessment of participants across the full adult lifespan, permitting investigation of developmentally significant, though under-studied periods such as midlife
  • Recruitment and follow up of a young-old population, providing important pre-clinical data for studying the development of age-related changes in memory and cognition.

This project has been funded primarily by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Wave 5 40s and 60s follow-ups (led by Professor Kaarin Anstey) are funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. 

For more information, please visit the study website at www.pathstudy.org.au. PATH participants can also contact the research team by phone on 1300 917 295.

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The Personality and Total Health (PATH) Through Life Project 

ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) is a unique collaboration bringing together academia, government and industry to address one of the major social challenges of the twenty first century. Based at the University of New South Wales with nodes at the Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney and The University of Western Australia, CEPAR is producing world-class research on population ageing. CEPAR includes cross-disciplinary experts drawn from actuarial science, demography, economics, epidemiology, psychology and sociology. The Centre’s diverse research program which will deliver comprehensive outcomes with the potential to secure Australia’s future as a well-informed nation with world-best policy and practice for an ageing demographic.

Professor Anstey and Professor Mike Keane lead the CEPAR research stream concerned with decision making, expectations and cognitive ageing.

This research stream aims to:

  • Develop a comprehensive model of ageing and decision making including identification of typologies of decision makers
  • Develop multidisciplinary paradigms and predictive models of decision making and ageing
  • Develop and evaluate interventions to increase positive expectations about ageing
  • Develop life-cycle models that incorporate investments in health and housing as well as cognitive limitations in ageing.

For more information on CEPAR visit the centre website.

CEPAR has been funded primarily by the Australian Research Council, with generous support from the collaborating universities and partner organisations.

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ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research

RESEARCH TEAM