October 8, 2020

Inspired Researchers: Small Research Grant (SRG) Recipients, Round 24

The objective of the Small Research Grants is to support work that benefits Northern Health’s community and support projects that will lead to applications for external grants or funding. The grants will develop and strengthen the research culture at Northern Health, support capacity building and staff development, support pilot projects or projects where traditional funding sources are difficult to attract and increase research productivity.

Below are the five recipients and their projects that the Northern Health Research Grant and Scholarship Committee have selected for funding in Round 24.

They have been picked for asking well-defined research questions, their level of innovativeness and originality, the evidence of justification and understanding the literature.

Name: Associate Professor Uwais Mohamed

Role: Director of Electrophysiology

Title: Body Surface Electrical Mapping: A Study of Electrical Synchrony in His-­bundle Pacing and Left Septal Pacing

His-bundle Pacing (HBP) and left septal pacing (LSP) are relatively novel pacing techniques compared to conventional right ventricular (RV) pacing systems, in that the pacing lead is implanted into the His-bundle, or left septum/left-bundle branch itself, rather than the RV.

This study presents a unique opportunity to map and compare electrical activation in these different pacing techniques.

Name: Dr Matthew Cotchett

Role: Advanced Practicing Podiatrist

Title: The experience of living with hallux valgus: a qualitative exploration of treatment beliefs, needs and expectations

Hallux valgus (also called a bunion) is one of the most common conditions treated by podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons and has a large economic burden on the community. However, no previous work has identified, far less evaluated, the experience and needs required for optimal care for people with hallux valgus.

Data from this project will be analysed to look for key themes that reflect the voice of the participant.

Name Angela McLoughlan

Role: Clinical Leader Occupational Therapy

Title: Embedding eHealth into routine practice: Investigating the technology readiness (TR) and eHealth literacy of the health professional workforce

Technology readiness (TR) and eHealth literacy are two variables which pose barriers to an individual’s acceptance and utilisation of eHealth in routine practice.

The TR and eHealth literacy of Northern Health’s professional workforce is currently unknown. This project proposes to undertake a workforce survey to determine baseline levels of these two variables.

Name Dr Rebecca Jessup

Role: Allied Health Research Lead

Title: How do health consumers interpret and apply health information during a pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has required individuals to find and apply health and behaviour information rapidly.

This project aims to understand how patients who attend Northern Health – specifically those who have frequent admissions – are accessing and using health information during COVID-19, and how this might be impacting on their decision making about managing their health.

Name Belinda Baines

Role: Grade 2 Renal Podiatrist

Title: The association between toe-brachia! indices and haemodialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease

There are around 10,000 hospital admissions in Australia each year for diabetes­ related foot ulcers. In many cases, these admissions results in amputations. Over five years, a single amputation cost is estimated to be around $50,000, not including social costs. Around 85 per cent of amputations are avoidable if attended to in a timely manner and managed properly.

This project will aim to determine if there is a relationship between changes in the results of lower limb blood pressure assessments and being on dialysis. The results of this study are important to determine whether current clinical practices are appropriate and will guide clinician process around these assessments in the future.


Featured are L to R: Dr Rebecca Jessup, A/Prof Uwais Mohamed, Belinda Baines and Dr Matthew Cotchett

Absent: Angela McLoughlan

The Small Research Grants are powered by Northern Health Foundation, which also funds PhD research scholarships. These grants and scholarships  develop and strengthen research undertaken at Northern Health and benefit patients within the northern community.