Linda Pickett

RESEARCHER PROFILE


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

CURRENT PROJECTS

MemTech

For many older adults, driving is essential for independence and participation in life.  However, ageing is associated with a range of physical, sensory, and cognitive changes, some of which can influence driving safety. Neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia can progress very gradually, and regular monitoring is required to identify the point at which driving becomes unsafe. Current methods of monitoring road safety for older drivers relies on regular reviews with doctors or expensive and stressful driving tests. These methods are resource intensive and inefficient. Thus, there is a need for more cost-effective and less invasive ways of monitoring road safety for older drivers. The Changing Memory, Technology and Driving study (MemTech) will investigate whether a dashboard camera and a GPS data logger can be used to accurately measure changes in safety during an older driver’s everyday driving trips. The study will involve older drivers who are experiencing changes in their thinking and memory or early stages of dementia, as well as older drivers without any cognitive difficulties. This will allow data to be compared across the two groups to determine whether the in-vehicle GPS devices can detect changes in driver safety associated with cognitive change. If it can, this will provide valuable research data for the future development of accurate in-vehicle monitoring systems for older driver safety.

This research is being funded by the Office of Road Safety.

If you would like to take part in this research study, please contact

Ms Abirami Raveendran

Phone: (02) 9399 1058

Email: memtech@neura.edu.au

READ MORE

MemTech

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

After receiving a diagnosis of dementia it is very important that individuals and families have access to support and advice, 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?

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: People with dementia will be invited to an online training and support group, comprising of 10 weekly online sessions, each lasting up to 2 hours. Participant will be supported to join the online session using a simple SHAPE study iPad. During the group, people 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.

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.

What are the benefits of this study?

We hope that your participation in this study will provide you and your care partner with more information on dementia and strategies to make positive changes to health and wellbeing. Some participants might also benefit from the social aspects of attending an online group session, such as sharing and listening to different strategies to promote living well with dementia. Additionally, the information gained from this research study could positively direct future research as well as influence the support offered to people in the early stages of dementia and their support network. Interested in volunteering?

This study may be suited to you if:

  • You have a 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

Expression of Interest

Fields marked with an * are required

Contact

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

Jana Koch (Research Assistant)

E-mail: j.koch@neura.edu.au

Phone: (02) 9399 1116

Jessica Amos (Project Manager)

Email: j.amos@neura.edu.au

Phone: (02) 9399 1853

This research study is funded by The National Health and Medical Research Council. This study has been approved by UNSW human research ethics committee, reference number: HC190440.

READ MORE

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

Better Drive Program

Driving is critical for enabling mobility and community participation in older Australians, with over 90% of those aged in their 70s being licensed drivers. There is an urgent need for evidence-based methods for enhancing and maintaining older drivers’ skills – methods that are ready for translation into cost-effective and practical interventions.

The Better Drive Trial is a three-arm randomised controlled trial that assesses the effectiveness of different driver education types on safety outcomes for older adults. The relative effectiveness of tailored lessons, road-rule workshops and feedback on older drivers on road safety will be assessed in over 384 participants over 2 years. If effective, interventions will improve driving safety, reduce costs associated with crashes, and maintain social participation.

Our multidisciplinary team has expertise in cognitive ageing, psychology, occupational therapy, behaviour change and injury prevention, and proven records of designing and implementing RCTs of behavioural interventions for improving safety in older adults. The outcomes of the project will lead to the development of community programs for older drivers that seek to maintain mobility and community participation.

The Better Drive Trial is funded by the NHMRC and is expected to run for 5 years.

READ MORE

Better Drive Program

RESEARCH TEAM

KIRSTY ZMISA Executive Assistant : 9399 1021
: k.zmisa@neura.edu.au