Linda Pickett


Linda has worked with multiple Research Groups at NeuRA including the Sydney Brain Bank, The Falls and Balance Group, Injury prevention group and currently working with the project coordinators in the Anstey group assisting with participant recruitment and interventions.

Projects Linda Pickett is currently involved with


Self-management and Health Promotion in early-stage dementia with E-learning for carers (SHAPE)

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can lead to an overwhelming mix of emotions. It is very important that individuals and families have access to support and advice at this time, to help people regain control, plan for the future and carry on living a life that is meaningful to them.

The ‘SHAPE’ research study is a multi-site trial, working in collaboration with Norway and the UK. This study aims to test a new online training and support group for people in the early stages of dementia and e-leaning programme for care partners.

What does the study involve?

Participants of this study will be randomised into 1 of 2 groups:

Intervention group: People with dementia will be invited to a training and support group, comprising of 10 weekly online sessions, each lasting up to 2 hours. Participants will be supported to develop skills in areas including decision-making, symptom management, healthy habits adapting and coping. Care partners will receive an e-learning program following similar themes with some additional support.

Control group: Participants will not receive the group training from our team but will have access to the online training after the study is complete.

What are the benefits of this study?

We hope the online group sessions will help to put people with dementia at the centre of their care, improve wellbeing, maintain independence and encourage families to discuss and plan for the future together. In the long-term, we hope this research will help inform the type and standard of care which individuals and families receive following a diagnosis of dementia.

Interested in volunteering?

This study may be suited to you if:

  • You have a formal diagnosis of dementia
  • You are 65 and older
  • You are comfortable communicating, reading and writing in English
  • You have vision and hearing which allow you to engage comfortably in a group setting
  • You have a care partner (family member or friend) who is willing to dedicate a small amount of time to the study

What would happen if you take part in the study?

The study will run over 9 months and you (and your care partner) will:

  • Need to participate in three telephone assessment interviews, where you will be required to complete a number of questionnaires relating to health and wellbeing.
  • Be randomly allocated to either the (a) intervention or (b) control group of the research study.

a.) The intervention group: This group will have 10 weekly online sessions with each session lasting up to 2 hours. Participants will learn about key skills in areas including: symptom management and healthy habits. Your care partner will receive an e-learning program following similar themes with some additional support.

b.) The control group: Like with a lot of research studies, some participants will be randomised to the control group, which means they will not receive the intervention from our research team. However, after study completion, both participants and families can receive the e-learning course comprising of the educational material used in the group.


Expression of Interest

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You can find out even more about the study by visiting the study website:


You can also watch a video from the lead investigators talking about how and why the study is being run:



For further information about this research study, please contact us on:

Jana Koch (Research Assistant)


Phone: (02) 9399 1116

Jessica Amos (Project Manager)


Phone: (02) 9399 1853


This research study is funded by The National Health and Medical Research Council.


Self-management and Health Promotion in early-stage dementia with E-learning for carers (SHAPE)

Better Drive Program

Current road safety policy for at-risk older drivers involves ‘fitness to drive’ assessment and either license restriction or revocation. However, research indicates that there is no clear evidence that mandatory testing lowers crash rates amongst older drivers, and that driving cessation in older adults is associated with increased rates of depression, social isolation, and general health decline.

The Better Drive program includes a series of studies evaluating interventions to improve driver skill. Two trials have been completed to date.

Trial 1 used a two-arm randomised controlled trial (RCT) approach to investigate the efficacy of individually tailored driving refresher lessons against a group-based refresher course on on-road driving performance, safety and crash risk in older adults. Findings indicate that although classroom based road rules workshops for seniors can lead to improvements in on-road driving skill, the inclusion of tailored driving instruction can significantly enhance safety and reduce crash-causing on-road errors relative to classroom based workshops alone.

Trial 2 used a two group (training, no-contact control) non-randomised design to examine the transfer of computerised speed of processing (SOP) training gains to cognitive measures that are known predictors of driving safety in older adults. Findings indicate that SOP training effects can be achieved with self-administered, online training at home, with some transfer to other known cognitive predictors of driving safety. However, differential effects of training may be observed for tasks requiring goal-directed search strategies rather than diffuse attention.

A third trial is currently underway. This trial uses a three-arm randomised controlled trial approach to assess the effectiveness of computerised cognitive training and tailored on-road skills training on driver safety in older adults. Data collection for this trial will be completed in 2019.

The Better Drive program has been funded by the NRMA Road Safety Trust.


Interested in volunteering in this program? Find out more here


Better Drive Program


DINAZ PAREKH Research Assistant : (02) 9399 1815

KIRSTY ZMISA Executive Assistant : 9399 1021