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Edel O’Hagan is an experienced clinical physiotherapist and early career researcher. Her clinical career over 15 years has included roles the public and private settings in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Edel completed her Research Masters at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), Sydney in 2016 with Dr James McAuley and Dr Markus Huebscher. Edel’s research includes the first systematic review of hypnotics for postoperative pain, which identified that hypnotics should be considered for the management of postoperative pain. She completed a cohort study which has shown that reduced slow wave sleep (SWS) is associated with subsequent high pain intensity and worse sleep quality for the same night. She conducted a pilot randomised controlled trial of a hypnotic for acute low back pain which identified recruitment barriers to address in a large trial.
Edel’s research has presented at national (APS) and major international conferences (International Low Back and Neck Pain Forum, International Association for the Study of Pain).
Her more recent research concerns the attitudes and beliefs of health care professionals and the general public toward treatment selection in patients presenting with low back pain.
Edel is a part of the organising committee for SPRiNG, Sydney Pain Researchers: the Next Generation.
Medicines are the most common treatment for back pain. The aim of this program of research is to improve our understanding of the clinical effects of medicines.
Studies currently in progress:
Medicines for Back Pain – Publications:
Medicines for Back Pain – Registrations of Study Protocols:
Social media is a potentially powerful tool to provide a message of education and reassurance to the general public about low back pain. This project will use social media to educate the general public about low back pain and promote self-management.
The project involves three stages. Firstly, we will conduct a content analysis to gain an insight into social media users’ perceptions and understanding about low back pain. This could determine whether social media could serve as an educational tool through which accurate information related to low back pain could be disseminated to the public.
Second, a recent Delphi survey of 150 low back pain researchers identified 30 key messages considered to be important for the general public to know about LBP. These statements provide evidence-based information on the diagnosis, prognosis and management of LBP and are intended to educate, reassure and promote self-management. We will investigate the attitude of the general public towards these messages.
Third, working in conjunction with a media company Y&R, we will design and test a social media campaign to encourage self-management for people with low back pain.
THIAGO FOLLY Research Assistant
ANIKA HAIGH Research Assistant
PAULINE ZAHARA Research Assistant
DR IAN SKINNER Postdoctoral Research Fellow
DR MARKUS HUEBSCHER Postdoctoral Fellow
Targeted reassurance, including enhanced, prognosis-specific education, could optimize reassurance and possibly prevent disabling symptoms.
Systematic-reviews of analgesics for low back pain generally include published data only. Obtaining data from unpublished trials is potentially important because they may impact effect sizes in meta-analyses. We determined whether including unpublished data from trial registries changes the effect sizes in meta-analyses of analgesics for low back pain. Systematic-reviews should include reports of unpublished trials. The result for muscle relaxants conflicts with the conclusion of the published review and recent international guidelines. Adding unpublished data strengthens the evidence that opioid analgesics have small effects on persistent low back pain and more clearly suggests these effects may not be clinically meaningful.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of disordered sleep on the relationship between pain and health care utilization (HCU) and pain-related disability and HCU in individuals with low back pain (LBP). Higher pain intensity and disability predicted higher pain-related HCU in the year following a LBP self-management class. The presence of a sleep disorder diagnosis, as recorded in medical records, had a significant independent effect on LBP-related health care visits and costs beyond the influences of pain intensity, disability, and other key demographic and health-related characteristics, but did not moderate these relationships.