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Source: Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

02 Jul, 2020

This week, the Health Research Council of New Zealand announced the latest recipients of its prestigious project and programme research grants. Three AUT researchers have received grants to support their research.

Programmes receiving Health Research Council funding

Professor Valery Feigin

Measuring and reducing stroke burden in New Zealand
60 months, $4,996,868.45

Recent changes in stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) treatment and management require new studies to capture their impact on outcomes such as death, disability, costs and carer burden. This programme aims to provide robust evidence of the burden of stroke/TIA using an ideal population-based approach; investigate pathways by which people reach hospital after stroke/TIA, such as using the ambulance or going to their GP, and how this affects their treatment and outcomes; link data with NZ Statistics to assess the effect of socioeconomic deprivation on stroke/TIA and estimate the burden of stroke for NZ, by age, gender and ethnicity. Finally, as strokes are highly preventable, the team will conduct a randomised controlled trial to test the effect of a psychological intervention known as health and wellness coaching, for the prevention of stroke after TIA and minor stroke. Programme findings will form a robust evidence platform for reducing stroke burden.

Professor Valery Feigin’s staff profile

Projects receiving Health Research Council funding

Associate Professor Nigel Harris

Implementing high intensity interval training in school
36 months, $1,362,262.45

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective, expedient and palatable exercise option for youth on a range of health, fitness, and wellness outcomes, but there is no research on its longer-term implementation in our youth. Partnering with schools and teachers to integrate HIIT into the curriculum represents a potentially scalable and sustainable way to facilitate broad ongoing participation in HIIT. The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of implementing a curriculum-embedded, teacher-delivered Mātauranga Māori HIIT exercise programme within the school health and physical education curriculum. This is a cluster-randomised controlled trial in 14 schools with assessments, including process and implementation evaluations, at 6 months and at 18 months follow-up.

Associate Professor Nigel Harris’ staff profile

Dr Kelly Jones

BIONIC2: TBI incidence, causes, and costs over time and service access in NZ
36 months, $1,192,610.30

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability worldwide that can significantly impact the lives of those affected and their family/whānau. Recent evidence suggests that the number of people sustaining some types of TBI may be changing over time. Using proven methods, a new population-based study of TBI will confirm the current nature of TBI in New Zealand. This information will be compared to similar population data from 2010-2011 to determine the true extent of any changes in TBI over time. An additional focus will be on improving understanding of the limited access to initial TBI healthcare services the team observed in their prior research. Findings will help to make sure that TBI guidelines and services align with the true nature of TBI in New Zealand, and that services become more accessible and equitable for all New Zealanders to improve outcomes and reduce the national burden of TBI.

Dr Kelly Jones’ staff profile

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