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Strategic Grant Recipients

The purpose of Strategic Grants is to generate innovative and collaborative research projects in the areas where identified gaps in cardiovascular health exist.

2021 Strategic Grants

We are excited to announce 2 recipients of the 2021 Strategic Grants programs, focussing on Mental Health and Heart Disease, and Behaviour Change.

2021 Mental Health & Heart Disease Strategic Grant 

Professor Andrew Boyle, The University of Newcastle

Project title: Improving the Well-Being of Patients with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Depression is highly prevalent and associated with increased hospitalisation and mortality among patients with heart disease. A whole-person care approach to depression management, encompassing mental wellbeing, behavioural risk factors and treatment adherence, is needed. This study will test whether a well-being app for patients discharged with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure reduces depression. Via the app, patients will be prompted to monitor depression and clinical outcomes and offered tailored self-care advice. Outcomes will be assessed monthly via brief measures for depression (PHQ-2 and PHQ-9) and healthcare utilisation. The patient’s cardiac team will track real-time patient data, and receive automated emails if patients enter high risk data. General practitioners will receive automated emails for patients reporting high levels of depression and encouraged to schedule a patient consultation. This novel process will prioritise urgent patient mental health needs while empowering the patient with self-care knowledge.  

     

Investigator Team:

  • Professor Rob Danson-Fisher, University of Newcastle
  • Professor Nick Zwar, Bond University
  • A/Professor Nick Collins, Hunter New England Health
  • Dr Breanne Hobden, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Kristy Fakes, University of Newcastle

Partner Organisation:

  • Hunter New England Local Health District 

2021 Behaviour Change Strategic Grant

Associate Professor Eleanor Quested, Curtin University

Project title: Scale-up of the Australian Fans in Training (Aussie-FIT) men’s health behaviour change program: a randomised controlled hybrid implementation trial

Research shows that a 12-week program run in UK soccer clubs (Football Fans in Training) is effective in supporting men to get to a healthier weight and sustain changes 3.5 years later. We created an Australianised version, Aussie-FIT, and our pilot in Western Australia (WA) found it attracts men living with obesity and supports them to make changes to their physical activity, eating behaviour, weight, and well-being. We have also shown Aussie-FIT to appeal to men with cardiovascular disease, for whom it can play an important role in secondary prevention. This project will substantiate the program’s longer-term impact on cardiovascular health by undertaking research with a larger sample and longer follow up. We will also determine how Aussie-FIT deliveries can be sustained in WA; implemented across other States and Territories (Queensland, Northern Territory); scaled to appeal to a wider audience (e.g., via deliveries in rugby); and identify potential adaptations with marginalised populations such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.

Investigator team:

  • Professor Andrew Maiorana, Curtin University
  • Professor James Smith, Menzies School of Health Research
  • A/Professor Toby Pavey, Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Graham Hillis, Royal Perth Hospital
  • Dr Tracy McCaffrey, Monash University

Partners Organisations:

  • Australian Football League – Northern Territory
  • West Australian Football Commission
  • Queensland Rugby League
  • Cancer Council WA (Live Lighter campaign)
  • Healthy Stadia

2020 Strategic Grants 

In 2021 we awarded 8 researchers who were successful in the 2020 Strategic Grants programs, each of them exploring different facets within emerging fields of cardiovascular research, listed below.
 

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