CQU researchers to recruit people who have suffered a brain injury for exercise study

17 January 2022

Researchers at CQUniversity are looking to recruit people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) who are keen to access a FREE 12-week exercise program as part of a study looking into the affects of exercise on TBI symptoms.

Lead researcher' clinical psychologist and PhD-student' Tom De Pauw said the aim of the research was to find what positive effects exercise can have for people with TBI.

He said the research team was keen to understand how the 12-week exercise program could improve mental health' social cognition' physical health and community participation of study participants.

"As practitioners' we have noticed people with TBI follow their rehabilitation in the hospital' but when they are sent home at the end of their rehab' a lot of the issues can commence or become more apparent'" Mr De Pauw said.

"They struggle on several fronts: cognitively' socially' workwise' motivationally and psychologically; and often don't have a strong network around them to help with some of these issues.

"We have developed this exercise program for people who suffered an injury a year ago or more to improve their health and fitness' and to motivate them to get active in their life and community.

The study will enable participants to work through a 12-week exercise program at the CQUniversity gym in Rockhampton.

A rolling recruitment allows researchers to recruit people with TBI as they become available.

Mr De Pauw has a long history working with people with TBI having conducted his masters placement in a TBI unit in a psychiatric hospital as well as being employed in a different TBI unit prior to relocating to Australia from Belgium.

"Upon arrival in Australia' I noticed a gap in the health service delivery in rural-regional areas for people with TBI. I'm hoping this study might offer an opportunity for people with TBI to engage in an activity aimed to improve their overall health and wellbeing."

Mr De Pauw has worked as a clinical psychologist until 2019' when he accepted a role at CQU to teach and supervise students in the Master of Professional Psychology.

"Not long after I started working at CQUni I got in touch with researchers with outstanding experience in this area' which allowed me to focus on this specific topic.

"My PhD-supervisor' Associate Professor Barbra Zupan' has conducted a lot of research with people with TBI. Associate Professor Rob Stanton is an exercise physiologist and Professor Corneel Vandelanotte is a physical activity researcher."

Interested participants can contact Dr De Pauw direct via phone 07 4930 9534 or via email t.depauw@cqu.edu.au.