Dr Saurab Sharma

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Dr Saurab Sharma is a postdoctoral research fellow at NeuRA. His postdoctoral fellowship is partly supported by International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) John J. Bonica Fellowship. His PhD focused on improving pain research, assessment, and management in Nepal which was rated as a thesis of exceptional quality (2020). Prior to commencing his PhD in 2017, Saurab worked as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and lecturer in Nepal for a decade. During this time, he successfully supervised nine Bachelor of Physiotherapy honour’s theses at Kathmandu University.

His current research includes developing global strategies for improving musculoskeletal health and developing and testing assessment methods and interventions for pain. He is specifically interested in musculoskeletal pain (e.g., back pain, osteoarthritis), other chronic pain conditions (e.g., complex regional pain syndrome), and cross-cultural pain management. He is also interested in improving evidence-based practice, patient-centred care, and shared decision making in healthcare. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers. Follow Saurab’s work on Google Scholar.

He is currently an associate editor for BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. He frequently reviews papers for several prestigious pain, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation journals; and international conferences such as the World Physiotherapy Congress and the World Pain Congress.

He is one of the Commissioners for the Lancet Commission on Osteoarthritis. He is also a founding member of Global Alliance for Pain Patient Advocates (GAPPA) of the IASP and an active member of Pain, Mind, and Movement special interest group of the IASP.

Projects Dr Saurab Sharma is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

MEMOIR – a clinical trial for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

MEMOIR is an Australian government-funded clinical trial for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). MEMOIR is testing two new interventions for people with CRPS – a new drug and rehabilitation program. MEMOIR will be conducted remotely, via Telehealth, allowing for Australia-wide recruitment of eligible participants.

Please click on the link below to check if you are eligible.

 

 

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?

CRPS is a disabling pain disorder. It affects approximately 5,000 people in Australia annually. CRPS is characterised by severe burning, stinging and stabbing pain. People with CRPS may not be able to use their affected limb and their ability to work or participate in normal social activities can be severely restricted. Currently, there are no interventions for CRPS whose efficacy is supported by high-quality evidence.

What is the MEMOIR Trial?

The MEMOIR trial is an Australian Government-funded, randomised controlled trial testing two novel treatments for CRPS. MEMOIR will test whether two new interventions, produce greater improvements in pain intensity and pain interference than placebo and standard care for CRPS.

The MEMOIR trial will be delivered remotely, via Telehealth, allowing Australia-wide recruitment of 160 participants. MEMOIR is the first, large, high-quality clinical trial to evaluate of the effects of two new interventions.

What is usual care?

Usual care is the continuation of your current management for CRPS, excluding the therapies outlined in the exclusion criteria. This might include medical, physical or psychological management of CRPS.

Will these treatments improve my CRPS?

The effectiveness of these treatments is not known. We are attempting to find this out by conducting this research study. MEMOIR is the first, large, high-quality clinical trial to evaluate of the effects of two new interventions.

Who can participate in the MEMOIR Trial?

To be eligible for the MEMOIR trial, you must:

  • Have (or suspected to have) chronic CRPS of 6 months to 5 years duration
  • Have at least moderate pain intensity and disability as measured by validated scales
  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Have access to a computer (or tablet) and internet
  • Have CRPS in a single limb only

You will not be eligible to participate in the MEMOIR trial if:

  • You are female, of child-bearing potential and not using reliable contraceptive method(s)
  • You are pregnant and lactating
  • You have an allergy to the study drug family (NMDA antagonists)
  • You are taking high dose opioid analgesics or methadone
  • You are taking high dose anticonvulsant medicines
  • You are taking certain types of antidepressant medicines
  • You are taking anti-psychotic medicines
  • You have high blood pressure, or your blood pressure is managed with medicine
  • You have a heart-rhythm disorder, or you are taking a medicine to manage this condition
  • You have a kidney condition
  • You have a history of neurological conditions (stroke, seizure, Alzheimer’s)
  • You have an implanted spinal cord or nerve stimulator
  • You are currently using Graded Motor Imagery

What is required as a participant of the MEMOIR Trial?

Participation in this trial requires a large time commitment for participants. The time commitment varies depending on the group that you are allocated to.

All study participants will be asked to take an oral drug or placebo for 16 weeks and maintain daily records, and complete outcome questionnaires, four times throughout the study (these will take approximately 30 minutes to complete).

Participants receiving rehabiliation will be asked to attend 7, 60-minute physiotherapy sessions via Zoom and will complete online modules incorporating rehabilitative activities and education, for approximately 30-60 minutes each day, for 16 weeks.

Participants receiving usual care will be asked to continue their current treatment, excluding any treatments that are listed in the study exclusion criteria.

The trial treatment period will run for a period of 16 weeks. After this, we will require you to complete two further assessments at 6 months and 12 months.

Will I get paid to be a participant in the MEMOIR Trial?

Participation in this study will not cost you anything, nor will you be paid.

How can I contact the MEMOIR Trial?

0414 062 189

memoir@unsw.edu.au

MEMOIR Team

MEMOIR consolidates the expertise of the following international scientists and clinicians:

  • Prof James McAuley, School of Health Sciences & NeuRA, University of New South Wales
  • A/Prof Sylvia Gustin, School of Psychology & NeuRA, University of New South Wales
  • Prof Andrew McLachlan, Dean of Pharmacy, University of Sydney
  • Prof Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia
  • Prof Benedict Wand, School of Physiotherapy, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Dr Neil O’Connell, Brunel University London
  • Dr Hopin Lee, University of Oxford
  • Prof Eric Visser, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Prof Sallie Lamb, University of Exeter
  • Mr Michael Ferraro, NeuRA, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Aidan Cashin, NeuRA, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Saurab Sharma, NeuRA, University of New South Wales

Keep up to date with the MEMOIR Trial and the latest chronic pain research:

The MEMOIR trial has been approved by the Ethics Review Committee (RPAH Zone) of the Sydney Local Health District, protocol number: X20-0325.

The MEMOIR Trial is supported by:

  • NeuRA
  • University of New South Wales
  • NHRMC
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Notre Dame

READ MORE

MEMOIR – a clinical trial for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

IASP UPDATES THE DEFINITION OF PAIN (AUG 2020)

HOW TO EXCEL IN PHD: EXPERT ADVICE (JUL 2020)

PAIN CARE IN LOW AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES, HEALING PAIN PODCAST (MAR 2020)

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH PAIN RESEARCH? A STORY FROM NEPAL (MAR 2018)

RESEARCH TEAM