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Participate in Research

We are happy to support research that contributes to a greater understanding of the experience of living with chronic pain. This page is to present the opportunities that are available for people in pain to participate. All studies advertised here have been reviewed and passed by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee. Please let us know about your experiences if you are a participant in any of the studies that come this way.

Research Participant Database: We have started a database of people who are interested in being contacted about pain-related research that we have been asked to promote.To learn more and to register, click here.

For researchers: If you would like your research to be promoted by Chronic Pain Australia, please dowload and complete our Research Promotion Request form and return it to us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


7 July 2015
Oxytocin in Whiplash Associated Disorders - Monash University

The overall aim of this study is to examine whether oxytocin has a mechanistic effects on pain perception, physical functioning, central sensitisation, and physiological and psychological arousal in individuals with musculoskeletal pain associated with chronic whiplash associated disorder.

This study involves receiving a one-off administration of oxytocin, relative to placebo, to investigate the role of this peptide in pain experience. Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced naturally within the human body. Although it is traditionally known for its role in initiating childbirth and breastfeeding, oxytocin has also been shown to have pain- and anxiety-reducing effects. We expect that oxytocin will help you to modulate your responses to painful experiences.

This study will be conducted at Monash University, Clayton campus, and consists of two sessions held two weeks apart. Each session takes no more than 3 hours.

To read the Participant Information Sheet for the study, click here.

If you're interested in participating in the study, contact one of the following people:

Mr Lincoln Tracy, PhD Candidate; E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. T: 0400 692 375

Dr Melita Giummarra, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow; E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. T: 03 9905 0034

This study has received ethical approval from the Monash University Human Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee. The anticipated closing date for recruitment will be mid-late 2016.


20 March 2015
Understanding pain where it resides; in the brain. (The UPWARD study) - University of Western Sydney

TheUPWARDstudy is a National Health and Medical Research Council funded project being carried out by the University of Western Sydney and University of New South Wales. It is a long-term study (4 years) that will follow participants for 12 months from the onset of their low back pain in order to understand why some individuals get better after hurting their back while others do not. This information will help clinicians design more appropriately timed and targeted therapies for people with low back pain. 

It is the opinion of world experts that persistent pain resides in the brain. Yet, no study has attempted to determine whether altered brain plasticity (the idea that the brain can change and adapt throughout life) can predict whether someone will develop persistent low back pain.

The
UPWARDstudy will investigate the role of brain plasticity, along with biological changes in the spinal cord, hormonal changes and stress, in the development of persistent low back pain. TheUPWARDstudy aims to provide evidence to determine how, and when brain plasticity occurs, and whether people whose brains are ‘more plastic’ are more or less likely to develop persistent low back pain. 

As the researchers aim to determine which variables predict LBP outcome, regardless of whether this is the first episode of pain, participants need not be experiencing their first LBP episode.

Potential participants will be screened by diagnostic triage following the Royal College of General Practitioners’ LBP Guidelines and a standard TMS safety screening questionnaire as exclusion criteria include individuals.

For more information about the study, go to the study website: www.upwardbackpainstudy.com

 

This study has received ethical approval from UWS Human Research Ethics Committee (H10465) and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

The study will run until mid-2017.


10 February 2015
The impact of non-invasive brain stimulation on motor cortex excitability and cognition in chronic lower back pain - Curtin University

There are two parts of this study. People may choose to participate only in the first part even if they do not wish to complete the second, intervention study.

Part 1: This project will examine motor cortex excitability and cognition in people with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Motor cortex excitability is measured using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is a non-invasive, painless brain stimulation technique which can be applied to detect changes in motor cortex excitability. Cognitive functioning is measured using a number of computer and paper-based tasks.

Part 2: This project will investigate transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for improving motor cortex excitability and cognition in CLBP. Participant’s motor cortex excitability will be measured using a non-invasive, pain-free stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Cognitive function will be measured using two neuropsychology tests for each of the five cognitive domains (executive function, working memory/attention, memory, visuospatial, and language). Motor cortex excitability and cognition will be measures before, and after 4-weeks of tDCS intervention. The tDCS intervention will consist of 2 x 20 minute stimulation sessions per week for 4 weeks. The participants will also complete questionnaires asking about their pain experience, level of pain, health-related quality of life, mood and daily function.

Participant selection criteria:

Chronic lower Back Pain: Aged 18 years and over with a clinical diagnosis of chronic lower back pain for at least 6 months. Participants must meet eligibility criteria - contact the researcher for details.

Participants will be required to attend Curtin University Neuroscience Laboratory located at the Curtin University campus in Bentley, W.A.

Who people should contact if they are interested in participating:

Emily Corti (PhD student)

Phone: 0431 584 166

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The study has received ethical clearance from the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Recruitment closes approximately October 2015.


16 September 2014
Central sensitisation in visceral and somatic pain

This study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney, Pain Management Research Institute. There is evidence that sensitisation of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) is a major contributor to various chronic pain conditions. However, the balance between what is happening at the site of pain and what is happening in the central nervous system may differ between different pain conditions and between individuals with the same condition.

Understanding the relative contribution of each of these factors to persistent pain would be a step forward in our understanding of these pain conditions and improve our ability to diagnose and treat people with pain appropriately and effectively.

The proposed study will involve healthy volunteers as well as volunteers who live with chronic low back pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

To participate, you will need to be in one of the following groups:

Healthy Volunteers: Over 18 years with no chronic pain in particular chronic low back pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Over 18 years and with a clinical diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome with persistent abdominal pain.

People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Over 18 years and with a clinical diagnosis of chronic (persistent) low back pain for duration of greater than 6 months.

Participation in the study involves one 2.5hr visit to the Pain Management and Research Centre at The Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney.

For more information, click here to read the Participant Information Sheet.

The study has received ethical clearance from the Northern Sydney Local Health District and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Closing date for recruitment is anticipated to be June 2015.


2 September 2014
Improving pain management amongst patients with dementia

This study is being conducted by researchers in the School of Pharmacy, Curtin University, WA.The primary objective of the study is to develop a pain assessment tool (Pain Assessment Application) based around the American Geriatric Society indicators of persistent pain, and linked to face recognition software to provide carers with a more standardised method of assessing the pain status of patients with cognitive impairment. Participation in the study involves completing an anonymous questionnaire then undergo a brief facial video assessment using a smart tablet integrated- app.

To participate in the study you need to:

Be over 18 years old;

Suffer from chronic pain (pain for more than 3 months);

Possess intact facial expressions; and

Take pain medication

For more information, click here to read the Participant Information Sheet.

The study has received ethical clearance from the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

There is no closing date for recruitment at this stage.


8 May 2014
An investigation of proprioceptive matching performance in realtion to chronic pain

Researchers from Monash University are seeking participants for a study on proprioception in people with chronic pain. Proprioception is knowing where your limbs are, when they move and how much force they generate. It has been speculated by researchers , and those involved in clincial pain management, that proprioception of the painful limb is altered.The aim of this research project is to find out if there really are any differences in how people with chronic pain perceive their limbs in space.

To participate, you will need to be between 18 – 65 years of age with chronic pain (more than 3 months) on one side of the body. i.e. persistent pain in the leg or arm. Pain-free individuals are also welcome to apply. The study involves a forearm matching task in which participants are asked to align the position of both arms, without looking at them.The study will be conducted at Monash University, Clayton campus, VIC, usually taking 1.5 – 2 hours. Participants will be financially reimbursed $15 per hour for their time (plus travel/parking costs).

If you are interested in taking part, or have further questions, please contact:

Mr Anthony Tsay 

PhD Candidate, Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit, Monash University

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This study has approval from the Alfred Health Human Ethics Committee (Project Number: 327/13). The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for this study is late-2016.

To read the plain language statement for the study, click here.



ARCHIVES

Details of past research. These studies are now closed.

22 March 2015
Predicting the transition to persistent pain – an analysis of risk and resilience factors in the development of persistent pain - Griffith University

This longitudinal research will investigate the risk and resilience (protective) factors which contribute to the development of persistent pain or the successful adaptation to life with persistent pain. The study encompasses epidemiological, psychological, physical, social and medical factors.This is a questionnaire-based study. Participants will complete three questionnaires over six months. Participants do not have to complete the survey all at once and are encouraged to take breaks and return to the survey up to a week from starting it.

For more information, contact Elise Henne on 0438 451053/email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or go to the online questionnaire website: http://goo.gl/iBTTui

This study has received ethical approval from the School of Applied Psychology and Griffith University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (PSY/31/14/HREC) and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee. The study will be open until 30 June 2015, although it may be extended.


21 March 2015
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Phase IIa Study Comparing a Single Application TPM®/Oxycodone Patch versus Vehicle Patch in the Topical Treatment of Patients with Postherpetic Neuralgia - Various sites in NSW

This is a research study to see if the TPM®/Oxycodone Patch (“study drug patch”) is safe and effective in treating participants with PHN compared to a patch which contains no Oxycodone but includes all of the other non-active components of the TPM®/Oxycodone Patch (“vehicle patch”).

The study drug patch is an experimental treatment. Oxycodone is an analgesic (pain reliever) which has been used, in tablet form, for the treatment of longstanding (chronic) moderate to severe pain, for many years. In tablet form it acts via the blood system. The patch also contains a form of vitamin E, called Tocopheryl Phosphate Mix (TPM), which can help some medications absorb across the skin.

Patients will be randomly assigned (50/50 chance) to receive the treatments as follows, either: 1.A study drug patch to wear for 3 days followed by a vehicle patch to wear for 3 days. There will be a 10 day “patch free” period after removal of the first patch. 2. A vehicle patch to wear for 3 days followed by a study drug patch to wear for 3 days. There will be a 10 day “patch free” period after removal of the first patch. Participation is approximately 38 days long.

Who people should contact if they are interested in participating:

  • Nucleus Network Limited

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recruitment:1800 243 733

  • Hunter Medical Centre

Kate Kuter

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

02 4985 1860

Ethical approval:

Approved on 15 December 2014 by BELLBERRY HUMAN RESEARCH ETHICS COMMITTEE (Application No: 2014-11-586-AA)

This study has alsovbeen reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

 Recruitment closes approximately end of May 2015.

16 February 2015
NPS Chronic Pain Focus Groups - Sydney

NPS are looking for adults who experience chronic pain (not caused by cancer) to take part in a group discussion in Sydney. The information from these groups will inform the development of an online communication tool for people with chronic pain, and help make sure what they develop suits the needs of people with chronic pain.

They are organising 2 focus groups in Surry Hills for Monday 23rd February.

The timing of the sessions are as below:

Monday 23rd February at 11am

Monday 23rd February at 5.30pm

The groups will run for 2 hours. Participants will receive a $125 gift voucher.

For more information, read the NPS Participant Information Sheet

To register your interest in being involved in a group, click here.


 

8 February 2015
Acupuncture analgesia: Its relationship with pain adaptability and endogenous pain control - RMIT

This research is looking at acupuncture treatment for low back pain and knee osteoarthritis. The aim of the project is to help help find out who will better respond to acupuncture. This will contribute to developing better treatment methods and enhancing our knowledge of chronic pain. Participant selection criteria:

  • People with low back pain, aged 20-65 years
  • People with knee osteoarthritis, aged 40-80 years

Participants need to be able to attend the RMIT Bundoora West campus.  

For more information, contact Dawn Wong Lit Wan, phone: 9925 7177, email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


5 February 2015
Extension of previously advertised study: Brain and Spinal cord intervention for the treatment of chronic tension type headache and chronic migraines - University of Western Sydney

The study will involve a five-day treatment (Monday-Friday), with an hour session each day. The treatment involves a very light electrical stimulation of 1mA applied over the scalp and upper back using a transcranial direct current stimulator. The treatment is safe, non-invasive and painless. Participants will be asked to keep a headache diary for 4 weeks before and after the treatment and will also be tested for sensitivity to pressure. This involves applying pressure over the skin of you neck muscles and thumbnail until the sensation changes from one of pressure to one of discomfort (then the pressure is immediately released).A brief description of risks: All techniques are safe, non-invasive and painless with minimal risk. In rare cases, participants may experience mild fatigue, discomfort or nausea following treatment. However, these symptoms are transient and should disappear within 2 hours. There is a low risk of skin irritation under the electrodes during treatment. We mitigate this risk by using a low level of current (1mA), cleaning the skin thoroughly and monitoring each participant at all times during treatment.Participant selection criteria:

Aged between18-65

Suffer from painful headaches more than 4 times a month

Experience painful headaches for 4 hours or more when left untreated

Experience onset of symptoms before the age of 50

For more information and to register your interest, email Ghufran Alhassani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..The study has received ethical clearance from the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.Recruitment closes June 2015.


29 January 2015
What difference do we make? Measuring social inclusion and outcomes of disability services - Scope Disability Support Services

Scope researchers are testing surveys to see if they measure what they are designed to measure. They need people with a disability (or their carers/support workers) to complete the surveys for them to test.

The surveys are accessible and designed to work with a range of assistive technologies. If the surveys work well, they can be used by other disability services to measure the impact of the services on the lives of people with a disability.

To find out more or to complete the survey, go to:

To talk to someone at Scope about the survey, contact Celeste Cuzzillo - email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone: 03 9843 2042

The study has received ethical clearance from the Scope Human Research Ethics Committee. It has also been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Closing date for recruitment is May 30 2015.


1 December 2014
Evaluation of the NSW ACI Pain Management Network website

Earlier this year, the NSW ACI (Agency for Clinical Innovation) launched a pain management website. They are now inviting people who have used the website to complete an online evaluation form.

To view the website, go to: http://www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/chronic-pain

If you would like to participate in the evaluation of the website, go to: https://www.research.net/s/paincons?ct=t%28%29


16 September 2014
Central sensitisation in visceral and somatic pain

This study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney, Pain Management Research Institute. There is evidence that sensitisation of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) is a major contributor to various chronic pain conditions. However, the balance between what is happening at the site of pain and what is happening in the central nervous system may differ between different pain conditions and between individuals with the same condition.

Understanding the relative contribution of each of these factors to persistent pain would be a step forward in our understanding of these pain conditions and improve our ability to diagnose and treat people with pain appropriately and effectively.

The proposed study will involve healthy volunteers as well as volunteers who live with chronic low back pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

To participate, you will need to be in one of the following groups:

Healthy Volunteers: Over 18 years with no chronic pain in particular chronic low back pain or irritable bowel syndrome.

People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Over 18 years and with a clinical diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome with persistent abdominal pain.

People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Over 18 years and with a clinical diagnosis of chronic (persistent) low back pain for duration of greater than 6 months.

Participation in the study involves one 2.5hr visit to the Pain Management and Research Centre at The Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney.

For more information, click here to read the Participant Information Sheet.

The study has received ethical clearance from the Northern Sydney Local Health District and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Closing date for recruitment is anticipated to be June 2015.

22 August 2014
Brain and Spinal cord intervention for the treatment of chronic tension type headache and chronic migraines

This study is being conducted at the University of Western Sydney. The study will involve a five-day treatment (Monday-Friday), with an hour session each day. The treatment involves a very light electrical stimulation of 1mA applied over the scalp and upper back using a transcranial direct current stimulator. The treatment is safe, non-invasive and painless. Participants will be asked to keep a headache diary for 4 weeks before and after the treatment and will also be tested for sensitivity to pressure. This involves applying pressure over the skin of you neck muscles and thumbnail until the sensation changes from one of pressure to one of discomfort (then the pressure is immediately released).

A brief description of risks: All techniques are safe, non-invasive and painless with minimal risk. In rare cases, participants may experience mild fatigue, discomfort or nausea following treatment. However, these symptoms are transient and should disappear within 2 hours. There is a low risk of skin irritation under the electrodes during treatment. We mitigate this risk by using a low level of current (1mA), cleaning the skin thoroughly and monitoring each participant at all times during treatment.

Participant selection criteria:

Aged between18-65

Suffer from painful headaches more than 4 times a month

Experience painful headaches for 4 hours or more when left untreated

Experience onset of symptoms before the age of 50

For more information and to register your interest, email Ghufran Alhassani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The study has received ethical clearance from the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Recruitment closes June 2015.


14 August 2014
A study to evaluate the long-term safety of Naldemedine for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation in people with non-malignant chronic pain using opioid therapy

This clinical trial is being conducted in order to assess whether a drug called Naldemedine is a safe and effective treatment for people who get constipation that is caused by their opioid therapy. Many people who use opioid therapy as prescribed by their doctors to manage pain often choose not to use opioids regularly because of side effects from taking the medicine. Chronic constipation is the most common side effect occurring with regular (chronic) use of opioids.  

The clinical trial will look at:

The long-term safety of naldemedine

The safety and effectiveness of naldemedine compared with placebo.

To determine how the body reacts to naldemedine.

Participation in this study will last for approximately 58 weeks and will include at 14 visits to the study site (Cardiff, NSW). Participation involves blood and urine tests and ECGs.

To be involved in the study you will need to fit the following criteria:

Participants aged 18 to 80 years inclusive at the time of informed consent

Participants must have non-malignant chronic pain treated for at least 3 months and must have Opioid Induced Constipation

Participants must be treated with a stable opioid regimen for at least 1 month prior.

Participants may or may not be on a routine laxative regimen at the time of Screening

Participants must be in general good health.

To read the Participant Information and Consent Form for this study, click here. For more information, call 02 4902 5162 or email Paula: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

The study has received ethical clearance from the Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Recruitment closes March 2015.

22 December 2014
Living with Chronic Pain - Monash University

This research aims to investigate factors that may influence how people cope with living with any type of chronic pain condition. 

It aims to investigate factors that influence how people adapt to living with chronic pain. Participation involves completing an online survey. Responding to all questions will take approximately 40 minutes. Participation is anonymous.

You are suitable for this research if you are aged over 18 years and have been living with any type of non cancer-related chronic pain condition for most days of the week for a period of more than six months of time. Chronic pain conditions may include rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia or any other condition that may cause pain.

For more information or to complete the survey, go to: www.jospainresearch.com

The study has received ethical clearance from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee and by Barwon Health. It has also been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Closing date for recruitment is anticipated to be end of February 2015.

 


 

24 May 2014
Acceptance-based factors in chronic pain: A comparison between Fibromyalgia and Low Back Pain patients in an Internet support group sample

Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver (USA) are seeking volunteers to participate in research which is investigating behavioural, psychosocial and medical treatment variables in people with fibromyalgia or low back pain who are actively involved in online chronic illness support groups. Participation involves completing an online survey which will take 30-45 minutes.

To participate, you need to be:

a) a member of an internet-based chronic illness support group;

b) have non-malignant (not cancer-related) chronic pain (pain duration for 3 months or more);

c) 18 years of age or older; and

d) able to read English.

All participants will have the opportunity to enter a draw for one of up to ten $50 Amazon.com or Amazon.eu gift cards.

For more information and/or to participate, click here.

This study has approval from the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (approval number 13-3263). The study has also been approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for the study is 17 February 2017

 


 

8 January 2015

 

Developing a website for people with low back pain: Frequently Asked Questions - The University of Queensland

The purpose of the study is to find out what questions people have about their low back pain. This will contribute to the development of a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section of a low back pain website under development.

Anyone who has low back pain and is over 18 years of age is eligible to participate in the study. To be involved, you will need to take part in an asynchronous online focus group. Asynchronous means that you can contribute to the focus group online at a time convenient to you. The focus group will be conducted using a program called Adobe Connect. If you choose to participate, you will be provided with a web URL (link) which will enable you to access the focus group. Instructions regarding how to participate in the group will be available on the Adobe Connect site.

For more information, contact Dr Mandy Nielsen via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The study has received ethical clearance from the University of Queensland Medical Research Ethics Committee. It has also been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Recruitment for this study is now closed.


11 August 2014

An exploration on the relationship between self-compassion and chronic pain

Researchers at Lancaster University, UK, are looking for volunteers for a study on self-compassion and chronic pain.

The study aims to look at the relationships between self-compassion (the ability to be kind and soothing to yourself at times of difficulty or stress) and chronic pain (intensity, distress and disability). It will achieve this by asking people aged 18+ with chronic pain (minimum 3 months) to complete one online questionnaire, which measures aspects of living with pain experience, along with previously researched psychological factors. Self-compassion in chronic pain is an extremely under-researched area and it is hoped this study will provide a novel insight into the role that self-compassion can play in people’s experiences of pain.

To participate, you will need to:

be able to read and understand English (due to the validation issues of some of the measures included in the questionnaire); and

have chronic pain or your pain has lasted more than 3 months.

For more information and to take part in the study, go to: http://goo.gl/qWFWir  (the password to access this is password1)

This study has ethical approval from the North of Scotland NRES Committee and has also been approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The expected closing date for the study is the end of August 2014.


20 July 2014

Chronic neuropathic pain study

Your help is needed for a new Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Pain) health awareness campaign. We are looking at getting the opinions who experience chronic pain (and those that care for or are related to them) to answer a survey. The survey is strictly a marker research survey and the results will be used to raise awareness in the general public of nerve pain. Click http://surveys.ekasresearch.com.au/s/Recovery to view the survey and privacy statement. Your individual answers will be held completely confidential and anonymous. This research is being conducted on behalf of a pharmaceutical company and in partnership with Chronic Pain Australia. The study has received ethical clearance and has been reviewed by the Chronic Pain Australia research subcommittee.

Thank you in advance for your help.


3 July 2014

An investigation into brain fog

Researchers at RMIT University are seeking volunteers for a study on "brain fog".

To participate you need to be aged 20 and above, and have English as your first language. Participation involves completion of an online survey. Please read the information provided by the researchers (below) for more information.

"At certain times, many of us have experienced feeling mentally clouded or having difficulty thinking. Commonly, you may have heard this called “brain fog”, “baby brain”, “mummy brain” or “chemo brain” depending on the circumstances in which it occurs. Brain fog is common in people suffering from chronic pain. Brain fog symptoms can include problems like poor concentration, slowed and/or hazy thinking and forgetfulness, to name a few. Although the symptoms and severity can vary greatly between individuals, for some, experiencing periods of brain fog can severely interfere with and limit their quality of everyday life.

Despite the abundance of anecdotal evidence, brain fog is not recognised as a medical or psychological condition, and currently there are only a handful studies into this phenomenon. This study aims to fill in some of the gaps in knowledge surrounding brain fog and gain a more accurate description of what it means to have it. To do this, we would like to ask you questions about your personal experiences with brain fog, including the common symptoms, triggers, duration and severity.

To obtain feedback from a large sample of people who have experienced brain fog, we have created a link to an anonymous survey:

https://rmit.asia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8pRPuL2CiKSQbmR

This link will go to a Participant Information and Consent form that explains the aims of the project; if you are interested to participate in the study once you have read this information, you may click through to complete the survey. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.

We plan to use the survey results to design an objective tool for clinically diagnosing brain fog, thereby promoting greater research into the area and creating the possibility for interventions."

This study has approval from the RMIT University Human Research Ethics Committee and has also been approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for the study is 31st December 2014.


29 June 2014

Do you live with nerve pain? Your help is needed for a new Nerve Pain campaign

Share Your Pain is a new health awareness campaign which aims to increase understanding that nerve pain (neuropathic pain) feels different, and encourage people to speak to their doctor to seek options to help manage their pain.

The campaign will launch with a series of short videos showing scenarios of people (actors) living with nerve pain and how they cope with their nerve pain symptoms day-to-day.

If you live with nerve pain, we need your help. We'd like to use your descriptions of nerve pain symptoms in the video. You are invited to share your sensations of nerve pain. Simply write in 200 words or less how your pain feels and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Or telephone 02 9286 1330 and simply describe how your nerve pain feels in the space of two minutes and the voicemail service will record you.

By emailing your description of pain, you consent to the awareness campaign using your quote anonymously in the campaign's videos. The videos will then be launched to the Australian media and utilised in other educational avenues by the Pharmaceutical Company such as YouTube and consumer websites.

Patient safety monitoring is important. Although we do not ask you about this, should you mention any side effects or unexpected event whilst on treatment we will need to report this information to the Pharmaceutical drug safety department. As a result you may be contacted by the pharmaceutical company for more information on the email address you used to leave your message.

Personal information will be collected, stored and used in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) for these purposes.

If you do not consent with your quote being used anonymously in the Share Your Pain videos and the adverse event reporting requirements please refrain from emailing your description of nerve pain.

If you are happy to continue, please proceed and simply write in 200 words or less how your nerve pain feels and email it to shareyourpain@hkstrategies.com.au.

(This research is being conducted on behalf of a pharmaceutical company and in partnership with Chronic Pain Australia).


9 June 2014

What can workplaces do to support employees with persistent musculoskeletal pain to maintain productive employment?

If you work in pain, you may be interested in a joint research project being conducted by La Trobe University and Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria. This research will investigate the barriers to maintaining productive employment among people in Australia who have persistent pain. At this stage, male participants are being sought. Participation will involve a telephone interview and completing a brief questionnaire. All participants will be compensated for their time.

If you are interested in the study and you are:

male, and

aged 25-65 years, and

working more than 8 hours paid work per week, and

experiencing pain which has lasted for 6 months or more

then please contact Dr Jode Oakman from La Trobe University This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 03 9479 3235 to express your interest.

This study has been approved by a La Trobe University Ethics Committee. The study has also been approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for the study is August 2014.


24 May 2014

Factors influencing perception of pain

Researchers at the University of New England are seeking volunteers for a study which is investigating factors that influence pain perception.

To take part you must have chronic pain (pain that has lasted at least 3 months). Existing research has shown that different factors can influence pain perception. This study aims to investigate some of these factors and establish if they have any relationship to pain perception.

For more information or to participate, click here.

This study has approval from the University of New England Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval No.: HE14-085). The study has also been approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for the study is mid-September 2014.

To read the Announcement for this study, click here.


30 April 2014

Understanding the lived experience of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in Australia

Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are undertaking a project which will look at the impact CRPS has on people's lives. To participate, you will have to have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and being able to speak English proficiently. Participation involves a face-to-face or Skype interview which will take approximately 40 minutes.

For more information, contact Colleen Johnston: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 0405 820 012

This study has received ethical approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Sunshine Coast. The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

To read the information sheet for the study, click here.


27 April 2014

The impact and management of pain following breast cancer

University of Queensland researchers are seeking participants for a short study investigating the impact of pain and most effective pain management strategies in women with a history of breast cancer. They are looking for women over 18 years of age who have been treated for non-metastatic breast cancer and who have experienced pain for more than 3 months. You will be asked to complete questionnaires and/or attend a focus group or telephone interview to collect information on your pain and how you manage your pain. The focus groups will be at the University of Queensland, St Lucia campus and will last approximately 90 minutes. Details: Joanne Manning (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07 3365 4460).

This study has University of Queensland Institutional Ethics Approval. The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

The closing date for this study in 26 September 2014.

To read the information sheet for the study, click here.


14 March 2014

Developing clear and understandable key messages for a low back pain website

Researchers at the University of Queensland have been running a number of studies on low back pain, with the aim of developing a consumer-centred low back pain website. In collaboration with people with low back pain and healthcare professionals, they have identified 'key messages' that should be included on the website. The next step is to make sure these 'key messages' are written clearly and are understandable to people with low back pain. To participate in this study, you should:

a) be over 18 years of age, and

b) have low back pain.

To participate, you will need to attend a focus group (group interview) at the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland, Brisbane or an online focus group. Refreshments wil be provided. Participants will receive $30 to assist with expenses involved in attending the focus group.

For more information, contact Dr Mandy Nielsen:

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone: 07 3365 1510 07 3365 1510 (business hours)

This study has University of Queensland Institutional Ethics Approval. The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

To read the information sheet for the FACE-TO-FACE focus group, click here.

To read the information sheet for the ONLINE focus group, click here.


14 March 2014

Painkiller use in the general population: an international cross-cultural study

Researchers at the University of Derby in the UK are conducting a study on 'painkiller' use in the general population. The aim of the study is to measure the use of 'painkiller' use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. It is also aiming to assess the role of beliefs and attitudes towards pain as well as beliefs and attitudes towards 'painkillers'. This study has already been conducted in the UK. To participate in this study, you should:

a) be at least 18 years of age;

b) have experienced any type of pain in the last month;

c) have taken at least one over-the-counter or prescription 'painkiller' in the last month; and

d) be resident citizens in the USA, Australia or New Zealand.

Participation involves completing an online survey, which takes approximately 15-20 minutes. To thank participants for their time, they will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw for Amazon e-vouchers.

This study has been approved by the Psychology Research Ethics Committee at the University of Derby in October 2013. The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

For more information or to complete the survey, click here.

The closing date for this study is the end of April, 2014.


21 February 2014

Chronic Pain and Prospective Memory Study

Researchers at Griffith University and the University of Queensland are conducting a study on how chronic pain can affect prospective memory. Prospective memory is a specific form of memory, referring to the ability of an individual to remember to do something in the future, as opposed to the ability to remember things that have already happened. People living with chronic pain often report problems with memory functioning, although this has been relatively unexplored in previous research. This study will explore whether or not people living with chronic pain have any problems with prospective memory.

Participation involves completing an online survey. The survey should take no longer than 40 minutes.

This study has been approved by both the Griffith University and University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committees. The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

For more information or to complete the survey, click here.

The closing date for this study is 26/6/2014.


7 February 2014

Clinical study of intranasal oxytocin for the treatment of chronic migraine

Trigemina Pty Ltd is conducting a clinical study of its product TI-001 (intranasal oxytocin) for the treatment of chronic migraine. The objective of the study is to help reduce migraine frequency and severity.

To participate, you need to meet the following criteria:

Suffer from and have been diagnosed with chronic migraine.

Aged 18 to 80 years old.

Other requirements:

You must be in general good health and will not be eligible for participation if you:

are pregnant or breastfeeding;

require ongoing use of steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication;

have a nasal obstruction;

have a history of addictive behaviour (e.g. alcoholism, drug abuse) or severe mood disorder; and/or

have substantial cognitive or memory impairment.

Duration of the study: Your involvement will be between 4-12 weeks and will involve between 2-4 clinic visits.

This study has been reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee that is formed and operates in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) (National Statement). The study has also been reviewed and approved by the Chronic Pain Australia Research Subcommittee.

For more information or to register your interest, please contact your nearest participating clinical centre. The list of current participating clinical centres can be viewed by clicking here.

Recruitment for this study will continue until the end of March 2014; however, it may be extended through April 2014. This is to be confirmed.25 September 2013.


21 September 2013

Potential new treatment for chronic migraine

The Pain and Anesthesia Research Clinic (PARC) and the University of South Australia are investigating a potential new treatment for chronic migraine. Ibudilast has been used in Japan for asthma for over 20 years and has a good safety record. This study is a clinical trial designed to see if ibudilast is effective and safe in the treatment of high frequency migraine. This is a completely new approach to migraine treatment.

To be eligible for this study you must have migraines and suffer from headaches on at least 15 days per month. On 8 days per month you must have headaches which display some, but not necessarily all features of migraines, called 'migraine-like headaches'. Everybody undergoing screening will be seen by a specialist headache doctor as a free consultation and you and your GP will be given advice about headache management even if you do not join the trial.

The study will be conducted at the Pain and Anesthesia Research Clinic, which is located at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.

For more information and to register your interest go to the study website:

http://www.adelaide.edu.au/painresearch/participate/

This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Closing date for recruitment - Anticipated 2014.


2 June 2013

The Pain Course: An Internet-delivered Course for the Management of Chronic Pain and Emotional Wellbeing.

Researchers from the eCentreClinic at Macquarie University have developed a new internet-based Course, the Pain Course, which provides good information and practical skills for managing chronic pain, anxiety and depression. They have developed the Course because Chronic Pain is common. But, many people do not have access to good information about how to manage chronic pain and their emotional wellbeing. The aim of the eCentreClinic’s research is to create a Course that is practical, helpful, widely accessible and freely available to help people with Chronic Pain. The feedback and results from their initial trials are very encouraging, but they want to test, develop and improve the Course further. The Course comprises 5 Online Lessons available over 8 weeks, simple Homework Tasks to help you learn the material, lots of Additional Resources and Stories and examples from previous participants.

To participate in the course you must have chronic pain, but will also be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or low mood, be at least 18 years of age and living in Australia. To find out more about the course please visit www.ecentreclinic.org and contact Dr Blake Dear: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here is the flyer for the research program.


Opportunity to participate in the "PoPP" (Perspectives on Persistent Pain) Study
UPDATE - Closing date for this survey has been extended to Friday, 15 November.

Janelle White, a PhD candidate from the University of the Sunshine Coast, is seeking people living with chronic pain (for the purposes of this study – ‘Patients’) to participate in the Patient Perspectives Survey. Results will be used to inform paramedic prehospital care of people living with chronic pain. The survey is anonymous, takes 10 minutes to complete and is open until Friday the 25th of October.

Apart from providing important information to help improve paramedic prehospital care, everyone who does the survey will be eligible to win one of 3 iPad mini’s. For more info and to do the survey, go to: https://survey.usc.edu.au/opinio/s?s=5408

Questions? Contact Janelle White

Phone 0412977039

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This study has been approved by the relevant ethics committee of the University of the Sunshine Coast.


2 June 2013

Shoulder laterality Study - Sydney

You are invited to participate in this research project which is investigating perceptual changes in people with shoulder pain compared to people without. We know from previous research that some people with longstanding hand or arm pain have difficulty recognising the laterality (left from right) of a picture of their affected hand (perception difficulties). The aim of this studyis to establish whether the same effects are seen in people with shoulder problems. This could lead us to better understand shoulder pain and in turn help us to develop more effective treatment strategies.

To do this we will investigate the accuracy and response time for the left right judgement task in a normal healthy population for making left/right judgement tasks of the shoulder and to compare the results to those with shoulder pain.

John Breckenridge This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here is the flyer for the research program.


4 June 2013

Understanding the relationship between headaches and sleep 

This is an opportunity to learn about your own headache triggers and contribute to a better understanding of why headaches occur.The majority of migraines and tension-type headaches usually occur within 48 hours following the presence of triggers. Some of the most common self-reported triggers are stress, menstruation, visual and audible disturbances, hunger/fasting, odours/smells and too little or too much sleep. Of these, the duration of sleep has been relatively less explored than most.My name is Dominic Beer and I am currently undertaking a research project as a requirement of my 4th year Honours program in Psychology at Griffith University (Queensland) under the supervision of Professor Paul Martin, an experienced headache researcher. The project is examining the effect of too little or too much sleep as a precipitant for the onset of headaches. If you are a headache sufferer, it would be helpful if you would consider participating in this study. Our aim is to publish this study so that the information can be used to guide treatment strategies for all headache sufferers.Participants in the study will be asked to complete a simple pen and paper sleep diary each day for up to 8 weeks. The diary and postage-paid return envelopes will be provided to all participants. You will just be required to place a cross in the corresponding boxes to answer the questions and completing this should take around 3 minutes each day. No writing involved! Each participant will be provided with feedback and results in relation to his/her personal data. If you would be willing to participate in this study or would like to have further information, please contact Dominic Beer by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.All participants can elect to enter a random draw to win one of two $50 Coles Myer vouchers.This research has been approved by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Commitee: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Ref No. PSY/69/13/HREC).


June 2013 - Using social media

My name is Mark Merolli, I am a physiotherapist in Melbourne. I am researching at the Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, University of Melbourne and we have been conducting innovative research aimed at bringing increased rigor to the way in which evidence of improved health outcomes can be achieved using social media in chronic conditions, particularly pain. Especially, given the rise of health-related Internet use by patients.

As part of my PhD research project, I have developed an online survey to better understand how social media is used to manage chronic pain. In particular, the aim is to study individual perceptions regarding ‘how’ different social media influence health outcomes. I explain the survey in this short video so please watch for further information. Click here:

http://animoto.com/play/EY5Vh6FUHKmeZrqLAIUNQQ

The survey and further information can be found here. It will be open until June 30th

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/socialmedia_chronicpain

You can find a summary of the preliminary results of this survey at:

http://hbiru.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/social-media-use-by-people-with-chronic-pain-a-global-online-survey-preliminary-results/


Interviews for market research

Surveytalk medical, a specialised medical market research company are looking to speak with men and women in sydney living with Chronic Pain to get feedback on their experiences.

The study involves being interviewed by a senior medical researcher in a private one on one face to face interview for approximately 1 hour, as well as completing a short homework task to prepare you for the interview. The interview will cover circumstances around your diagnosis and treatment.

We are looking to speak to people living with specific types of pain and experiences with various medications as such we have some qualifying questions which we will need to ask you before we can invite you to participate in the face to face interview. As a thank you for your time and participation in the face to face interview you will be paid an honorarium of $150 to cover your expenses.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions regarding the study please contact the Surveytalk medical project team either via phone 02 9267 155502 9267 1555 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

All your responses will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Survey talk is a full member of the Australian Market and Social Research society (AMSRS) http://www.amsrs.com.au/ and adhere to the society's professional code of conduct. We are ISO20252 accredited.


The emotional aspects of pain

Have you had intermittent or consistent pain or discomfort for the past three months? If so, would you like to participate in a study looking at emotional aspects of pain? If you answered yes to both these questions then you will be helping me, Carmel Wright, a 4th year honours student in Psychology at UNE with my thesis. Participants need to be 18 years of age and all participants remain anonymous. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.

Please use the link below to access the study in which you will be asked a few demographic questions and then to complete 4 scales. It should only take approximately 30 minutes of your time, and your support will help with future pain research and education.

This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England (Approval No.HE12-037, valid to 14/03/2013).

http://unebcss.us2.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_41NGLxb391TdZhW


Factors influencing chronic pain

Are you living with chronic pain? Has your pain persisted for more than 3 months? If so, please tell us about your experience.

Our study explores how psychosocial factors, such as stigma, influence the experience of people living with chronic pain.

Help us to improve research and practice for people living with persistent pain by completing a brief survey.  We are interested in hearing from people with a wide variety of conditions ranging from chronic back pain, to arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Please contact Olivia Waugh at the Australian National University to take part or be provided with more information.

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P: 02 6125 410002 6125 4100


INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA AND APP USE BY PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC PAIN - UPDATE

What is it about?

Researchers from The University of Queensland and Chronic Pain Australia are working together to better understand how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. ICT includes things like websites, Facebook, Twitter and Smartphone apps. The first step for us was to find out how people with pain are using ICT. We asked people to do an online survey that was open for five weeks in the late 2011. A total of 177 people completed the survey. We realise that it was a long survey, and would like to thank all those who participated.

Summary of early findings

The UQ researchers are still analysing the survey results. However, here are a few of the early findings.

1. The internet is an important way of obtaining information about chronic pain

Most (93%) of the people who did the survey said websites were one of the main ways they got information about chronic pain. This compares to 57% who said they got information from their doctor and 46% who said they got information from books.

Most people said they used websites to read information about chronic pain in general, to find information about treatments, and to find information about pain medications. Most (77%) thought websites about chronic pain were helpful, although 22% were not sure. 88% of people would like to see more people using websites with regards to chronic pain.

2. Facebook was the most used ‘social media platform’

By ‘social media’ we mean interactive online sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. The most commonly used type of social media was Facebook – 69% of the people who did the survey used Facebook, followed by YouTube (34%) and Google+ (30%).

People used social media differently to websites, probably because social media allows them to share information and communicate with others. Of the 154 people who said they used social media, 47% said they used it to find information about chronic pain, pain medications and/or treatments and 71% said they use social media to find out about other s’ experiences of chronic pain. People also used social media to share information about chronic pain (46%), to meet others living with chronic pain (42%), and to raise awareness about chronic pain (40%).

Less people found social media helpful, when compared to what people said about websites – 61% of those who used social media said they found it helpful, with 35% undecided.

3. Less people use Smartphone or tablet apps

Ninety-three people (52%) who did the survey had either a Smartphone or a tablet, such as an iPad. 23% of these people used a chronic pain app on their phone or tablet. Of those who did use this kind of app, twelve used the app on a weekly basis, which is only 1% of all the people who did the survey. This is compared to 95% of people who used websites on a weekly basis and 74% who used social media on a weekly basis. This suggests that, at the moment at least, apps are not used by many people with chronic pain. However, this may change as apps become better known and more people own Smartphones or tablets.

These are just some of the findings that are coming out of the study. We would like to thank everybody who completed the survey. If you would like a more detailed report of the study findings when this becomes available, please email Professor Jenny Strong at The University of Queensland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..