Luke Anthony Egan

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Research Assistant

9399 1883


Luke completed his Ph.D. at Macquarie University in 2012. His research examined the personality traits associated with forgiveness, and the effects of forgiveness on mental health and coping responses. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of New South Wales, where he studied the role of psychoeducation in preventing and mitigating mood disorders. Luke has also carried out research on community-based education programs at Australian Catholic University, and he has lectured on psychology, statistics, and research methods at Macquarie University and Federation University. At NeuRA, Luke is working within the Gatt Resilience Lab to investigate and measure mental wellbeing across diverse populations.

Projects Luke Anthony Egan is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Thrive: A wellbeing program for healthcare workers

 

 

 

 

 

Healthcare workers frequently report higher levels of occupational stress and lower levels of mental wellbeing relative to people in some other professions, and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional burdens on this population.

In response, the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA has partnered with the Nursing Education Workforce Research (NEWR) unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH) in Sydney, to create and deliver a new program – the “Thrive” program – for healthcare staff who wish to improve their mental health.

The Thrive program is based on the neuroscience of brain health and mental wellbeing, and provides educational resources on how to develop healthy habits across seven areas of life. It is currently the subject of a randomised controlled trial that aims to measure whether the wellbeing of Thrive participants increases as a result of the program.

To date, the Thrive program has been offered to all staff at POWH, and it will soon be expanded to include all healthcare workers within the SESLHD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, and Karen Tuqiri and Mary Mulcahy from the Nursing Education Workforce Research (NEWR) unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH). Funding for the trial was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council. This trial was prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and ethically approved by the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD).

Related publications:

Egan L, Mulcahy M, Tuqiri K, Gatt JM. (2022). The Thrive online wellbeing program for healthcare workers: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 11(4): e34005. http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/34005

Data analysis in progress.

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Thrive: A wellbeing program for healthcare workers

The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in mental health inpatients

 

 

 

 

Mental health has typically been defined as an absence of symptoms alone, however it is increasingly being recognised that mental health includes an absence of symptoms but also the presence of wellbeing. Wellbeing encompasses our levels of happiness, life satisfaction and the feeling of living a meaningful life.

At the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, the Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit (MHRU) provides treatment for in-patients dealing with various mental health conditions.

The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA is interested in understanding whether their measure of wellbeing, called the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, is sensitive in response to treatment also. To understand this, the Gatt Lab at NeuRA is conducting a longitudinal study to measure MHRU inpatients’ wellbeing with a monthly survey until discharge. This survey includes the COMPAS-W scale, a comprehensive measure of wellbeing that has been validated in past research on other populations.

This longitudinal study will help us understand the importance of wellbeing in mental health recovery, and help identify domains of wellbeing wherein its patients might require additional support or attention.

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, and the MHRU Unit management at POWH. Funding for the study was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.

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The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in mental health inpatients

The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in headspace clients

 

 

 

 

 

Many young people in Australia require mental health treatment, and the Australian government funds the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to provide early intervention services for clients aged 12 to 25. Those with a Mental Health Treatment Plan can access a course of 10 therapy sessions with a clinical psychologist at headspace, and this therapy is expected to improve the clients’ mental health symptoms.

The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA is interested in understanding whether their measure of wellbeing, called the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, is sensitive in response to treatment also. To understand this, the team is running a longitudinal study to measure headspace clients’ wellbeing from the beginning to the end of their 10-session course at headspace. This study is open to clients aged 16 to 25 at the Bondi Junction headspace centre who are currently experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety).

Each participant is assessed on four occasions over the duration of their involvement in the study, and each assessment includes the COMPAS-W scale, a comprehensive measure of wellbeing that has been validated in past research on other populations. This study will widen the scope of mental health research to include a population whose wellbeing has been deserving of greater attention: young people receiving mental health treatment. And hopefully, the study will highlight any domains of wellbeing in which headspace clients may need additional support or resources post-recovery.

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, headspace management at Bondi Junction, and Prof Julia Lappin (Psychiatrist, UNSW). Funding for the study was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.

 

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The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in headspace clients

ReNeuWell®

 

 

ReNeuWell® is your home for neuroscience-based information and personalised positive psychology activities to guide you towards greater resilience and mental wellbeing.

What is ReNeuWell®?

Associate Professor Justine Gatt and her team from Neuroscience Research Australia and UNSW have developed a new resilience and wellbeing app called ReNeuWell® which provides a personalised solution to build resilience and promote mental wellbeing for adults in the general population. Each activity offers both educational content and practical advice to increase your wellbeing.

How does it work?

The ReNeuWell® app includes the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, and provides a tailored four-week program of activities. Activities used in the ReNeuWell® app draw on evidence-based psychological concepts or approaches including mindfulness, meditation, coping with stress, self-compassion, acts of kindness, gratitude diaries, positive event scheduling, and goal-setting.

Who is it for?

ReNeuWell® is designed for the average healthy adult looking for ways to understand and boost their own wellbeing.

ReNeuWell® is suitable for anyone who:

  • has an iPhone
  • is aged 18 years or over
  • can understand written English
  • is not currently experiencing moderate to severe mental illness symptoms

ReNeuWell® is designed to boost wellbeing and resilience to stress. It is not designed to treat mental illness symptoms, so if you are currently experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to consult a mental health specialist and seek treatment before using the ReNeuWell® app. For anyone who is currently experiencing severe distress and needs immediate support, please contact one of the mental health support services listed here.

What is the time commitment?

ReNeuWell® is designed to be used for around 10 minutes a day for at least four weeks. Every four weeks, the app will re-measure your wellbeing and offer you daily activities to build on your progress for as long as you wish. Evidence generally suggests that the benefits of using these kinds of techniques increase over time as it takes a while for new habits to be developed.

What is the science behind it?

The ReNeuWell® app is based on over eight years of neuroscience research and promotes resilience and mental wellbeing for the 60% of the population who may not necessarily meet criteria for mental illness diagnosis but may nonetheless be looking for self-help options to boost their own wellbeing. Furthermore, the ReNeuWell® team has received approval to conduct its own clinical trial of the app, and this study is currently open to volunteers (more information below).

Can I participate in the clinical trial?

The ReNeuWell® team is committed to gathering the best scientific evidence on the app and its effectiveness. We will soon run a clinical trial (approved by the University of New South Wales) to test two versions of the app and see which one is more effective for increasing your wellbeing. If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to participate, when the app becomes available, you can download it and then choose to express your interest and enrol in the trial if you meet eligibility criteria. You will then receive the app for free for 12 weeks. For more information, including the Participant Information Statement and Consent Form, click here.

How is my privacy protected?

The privacy of ReNeuWell® users and their data is our top priority. Any information you provide will remain confidential and securely stored.

For the full Terms and Conditions of using the app, click here.

For the full NeuRA Privacy Policy, click here: https://www.neura.edu.au/privacy/

What does the app cost?

The app will be available for purchase for a one-time payment fee. If you participate in the clinical trial, you will receive the app for free for 12 weeks, and after that, you can choose whether or not to purchase the app and continue using it.

Where can I download ReNeuWell®?

Once the app is launched, you will be able to download ReNeuWell® from the App Store.

After downloading the app, you will have the option of purchasing it upfront, or enrolling in the clinical trial and using the app for free during the trial period.

If you would like to be notified when the app is launched, please send us your details using the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.

We hope to offer an Android version of ReNeuWell® soon. If you have an Android phone and are interested in the app, join our waiting list and you will be notified as soon as an Android version is available.

Fields marked with an * are required

Funding and partners

ReNeuWell® has been made possible with funding support from:

Mindgardens Neuroscience Network

ReNeuWell® was developed in collaboration with:

Miroma Project Factory

We would also like to acknowledge the involvement of:

University of New South Wales
Neuroscience Research Australia

Further questions

If you have any further questions about ReNeuWell® or the research project, please email us at: reneuwell@neura.edu.au.

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ReNeuWell®

RESEARCH TEAM