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Matthew is a clinical scientist and physiotherapist, nearing completion of his PhD. Matthew’s PhD work aims to improve treatment for persistent back pain through improved understanding of current treatments and development of new treatments. Back pain is a common, costly and disabling condition. People experience little to no benefit, on average, from available treatments.
Medicines (given for pain relief) are the most common treatment, yet the research available to guide their use is lacking in some areas. Matthew’s research (within the Medicines for Back Pain program) uses published and unpublished sources of clinical trial information to fill these gaps and increase the research available to guide clinical decision-making.
Treatments targeting brain function are a promising, novel, approach to treatment of back pain. These treatments have been developed because research indicates the brain and nervous system are importantly involved in the back pain experience. We developed two treatment programs and tested them in the RESOLVE Trial). We have completed recruitment and are preparing to analyse the results.
You can follow Matthew’s research below and here.
In addition to his research focus, Matthew is passionately engaged with clinical practice and research more broadly. Matthew is an active member of the Australian Pain Society, Sports Medicine Australia, the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the Living Evidence Network. Matthew sits on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Education and Training Committee, which strives to facilitate the use of evidence in clinical and research practice. Matthew is an Ambassador for the Centre for Open Science and a founding member of OPeRA (Open Pain Research Appraisal and Advocacy). OPeRA members are early-career scientists working together to conduct meta-science (research on how research is done) and advocate for transparent and open scientific practice. Transparent and open practice is important to allow users of research to understand and evaluate research whilst they use it. You can follow (and join) OPeRA’s work here.
There are a growing number of studies using mediation analysis to understand the mechanisms of health interventions and exposures. Recent work has shown that the reporting of these studies is heterogenous and incomplete. This problem stifles clinical application, reproducibility, and evidence synthesis. The development and implementation of A Guideline for Reporting Mediation Analyses (AGReMA) will improve the standardization, transparency, and completeness in the reporting of studies that use mediation analysis to understand the mechanisms of health interventions and exposures.
Cashin AG, McAuley JH, Lamb SE, Hopewell S, Kamper SJ, Williams CM, Henschke N, Lee H. (2020). Development of A Guideline for Reporting Mediation Analyses (AGReMA). BMC Med Res Methodol 20(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s12874-020-0915-5. PMID: 32013883
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:
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a serious health condition, affecting approximately 20,000 people in Australia. It is characterised by severe burning, stinging and stabbing pain. People with CRPS are unable to use their painful limb and their ability to work or participate in normal social activities is severely restricted. Currently, there are no effective treatments for CRPS.
A vast body of research has demonstrated changes in brain processes in CRPS. The MEMOIR trial will investigate the effectiveness of two novel brain-directed treatments to reduce pain and improve function in people with CRPS.
MEMOIR consolidates the expertise of scientists and clinicians from NeuRA (A/Prof James McAuley, A/Prof Sylvia Gustin, Mr Michael Ferraro), the University of South Australia (Prof Lorimer Moseley), the University of Sydney (Prof Andrew McLachlan), the University of Notre Dame Australia Fremantle (Prof Benedict Wand, Prof Eric Visser), the University of Exeter (Prof Sallie Lamb), Brunel University London (Dr Neil O’Connell) and the University of Oxford (Dr Hopin Lee).
Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the commencement of MEMOIR has been delayed. Recruitment for MEMOIR will commence in September 2020.
If you are interested in being contacted about our CRPS research, please leave your details below and we will be in touch once recruitment begins.
THIAGO FOLLY Research Assistant
ANIKA HAIGH Research Assistant
PAULINE ZAHARA Research Assistant
DR IAN SKINNER Postdoctoral Research Fellow
DR MARKUS HUEBSCHER Postdoctoral Fellow