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At IPAN, we research human health. Some of our studies require real, every-day people to take part.

We run a variety of both long and short-term studies. Some may require participants who meet certain criteria such as age, gender, health status or live in a particular postcode.

Would you be interested? You may be asked to undergo clinical tests, follow diets or exercise programs, fill in surveys or trial tools and resources.

We’re currently seeking participants in the following studies:

  • Smart Homes for Heart Failure project: Seeking people living with or caring for someone with heart failure
    We want to understand how people with heart failure manage their condition for the ‘Smart Homes for Heart Failure’ project. We are particularly interested in the activities someone with heart failure carries out to manage their condition, what additional support they would like, and their use of technology. We are conducting 30-60 minute phone/Zoom interviews to help us understand these topics. 
     
    If you are eligible to take part, we will provide detailed information about this research and ask you for your consent to participate. 
     
    After the interview, you will be compensated for your time with a $20 supermarket voucher. 
     
    For further information, contact Rebecca Nourse at rnourse@deakin.edu.au OR 0392443075 
     
    For details and to register, click here
  • REACT Study: Seeking children in years 4-6 and/or their parents

    Reactivity to Activity (REACT) Study: A test-retest reliability study and qualitative interviews for children in Years 4-6 and/or their parents

    On the days when your child is on the go, do they relax later or stay active all day? We want to know how to best measure this in surveys. You are invited to participate in a study that tests survey questions to determine how well they capture children’s response to being active or inactive. We are interested in whether these questions consistently collect information and measure what they are supposed to measure. We are asking children in Years 4-6 and/or their parents to complete a short online survey on two occasions and an optional short (~10 mins) interview (via Zoom).

    For more details, or if you would like to help us with our research, please click here.

    For more information, contact Brit on (03) 5227 3326 or bswelam@deakin.edu.au.

  • Pain systems analysis and machine learning for specificity in non-specific persisting low back pain

    PREDICT-CLBP pilot study

    Back pain is the greatest cause of disability around the world. In Australia, back pain is predicted to cost around $9.2billion per year. Low back pain remaining for longer than 12 weeks is classed as ‘persisting’ low back pain and affects around 20% of the global population. A certain diagnosis for the pain cannot be made in up to 95% of cases of low back pain. When a clear cause of the pain in the spine cannot be established, it is difficult for health care practitioners to know how to best treat the condition. To better understand this, we will assess the health of the spine, psychological and social health, as well as changes in the nervous system, to see if there are sub-groups of individuals with persisting low back pain.

    We are recruiting people that have persisting (>12 weeks) low back pain to participate in several tests to help us get a better understanding of how different body systems contribute to the condition. We are also recruiting individuals that have never experienced low back pain (never had to take days off work or see a health care professional due to low back pain) to act as the control group.

    All participants will undergo two testing sessions to assess (1) physical, mental, and social health, pressure-pain thresholds, and spine imaging and (2) brain imaging. Upon completing both testing sessions, participants will receive a pre-paid credit card to the value of $70.

    You can read more about the project here.

    If you think you fit the criteria for the project and are interested to participate in this research, please register your interest by completing the online form. One of the research team will then be in touch.

    Register for the ‘PREDICT-CLBP’ pilot study here

  • Smartphone Cardiac Rehabilitation, Assisted self-Management (SCRAM): A 21st Century approach for improving self-management of heart disease

    What is the SCRAM study? IPAN researchers at Deakin University, together with cardiologists at Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, and Western Health, are testing whether a smartphone-delivered cardiac rehabilitation program improves the health of people with heart disease.

    What is involved for participants? Participants will have access to either a smartphone or usual face-to-face cardiac rehabilitation program for 6 months, and complete before/after health assessments at hospitals in Geelong, Sunshine, or Bendigo.

    Who can participate? We are calling on 18+ year olds who have had a coronary heart disease diagnosis or event (heart attack, angina, coronary artery disease, stent/bypass graft surgery) in the past 6 months.

    Timeline for recruitment: Recruitment will remain open until we have the required number of suitable participants.

    Contact: If you are interested in participating, have any questions or would like more information, please contact Jessica Freeman on +61 3 9246 8560 or email scram@deakin.edu.au

  • My Move Study: How can we better support children’s active movement around their neighbourhoods?

    The aim of this study is to find out how we can better support children’s walking, cycling, scooting or other active ways of moving around their neighbourhoods.

    Who can participate?

    We are looking for Grade 5 or 6 students attending any primary school in Metropolitan Melbourne and their parents.

    What will participants be asked to do?

    Participating students will be asked to tell us about their active experiences using writing, drawing, photography or mapping and take researchers on a ‘walking tour’ of their neighbourhood. Parents of participating students will be also be asked to take part in a phone interview. Participants will be contacted in two years’ time to take part in a follow-up study.

    For further information, please contact:
    Hima Whitley at whimashini@deakin.edu.au, +61 3 9244 5868

  • Do lower-limb sports compression garments enhance microvascular blood flow?

    Researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, and the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University, are investigating whether lower-limb sports compression garments can enhance cycling performance and recovery via increasing skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow (blood flow in small blood vessels).

    Reimbursement: You will not be paid for participation in this project, but you will be provided approximately $200 RRP of compression gear once you have completed the study.

    • You may be suitable if you are:
    • Aged between 18-40 years old
    • Normal weight (BMI 18-27)
    • Do not have high blood pressure
    • Performing regular aerobic exercise (at least 90 min of moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise per week)
    • Non-smoker and no history of cardiometabolic disease

    This study involves three visits (~7 h in total) to the Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory, spread across 7-10 days.

    The following tests will be conducted:

    • General health, physical activity and medical history questionnaires.
    • Repeated-sprint ability protocol (4 x 10 x 6-s maximal sprints of a gym bike)
    • Exercise performance test (single 6-s maximal sprints)
    • Ultrasound assessment of the thigh.
    • Venous blood sampling and ultrasound contrast agent solution infusion.
    • Measurement of muscle oxygenation via infrared light.

    For further information, please contact:
    Dr James Broatch at James.Broatch@vu.edu.au, +61 422 050 361
    Dr Lewan Parker at Lewan.Parker@deakin.edu.au, +61 4 0327 6153

  • How does your body composition affect blood vessel function?

    We are investigating whether exercising regularly or not affects the small blood vessels in your muscle and how your body processes sugar after a meal.

    We are interested in people with a range of body sizes and either physically active or not.

    We are looking for participants:

    • who have a body mass index (BMI) over 27, AND
    • are non-active: do less than 30 min/week of moderate intensity exercise;

    OR

    • Regular exercisers: who do more than 150 min of regular exercise/week

    All participants must also

    • Be a non-smoker, with no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes
    • Not be taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

    This study requires two visits to the laboratory, for a total of approximately five hours. The following tests will be conducted:

    • Body composition analysis scan (DEXA);
    • VO2 max (i.e. aerobic fitness);
    • Measurement of resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn) and if your body prefers to burn sugars or fats;
    • Ultrasound assessment of blood vessel health;
    • Venous blood sampling for blood glucose, insulin and cholesterol.

    For more information, contact
    Dr Andrew Betik at Andrew.Betik@deakin.edu.au

  • How does inadequate sleep impact resistance training performance and skeletal muscle in females?

    This project aims to understand how a lack of sleep in females may impact their ability to perform resistance training. This has implications for muscle adaptation and growth, which is important for populations who may be sleep-deprived and need muscle strength for daily activities, such as shiftworkers, athletes, new parents, and older adults.

    Who can participate?

    Females aged 18-35, who have some resistance training experience and are not on any hormonal contraceptive. *Other selection criteria apply and will be assessed upon contact with our research team.

    What is involved for participants?

    Volunteers complete pre-testing measures prior to participating in both a sleep-restriction trial and a control trial. The sleep-restriction trial requires participants to stay overnight at Deakin University for nine consecutive nights, where they are only allowed to sleep between 1am-6am. During the nine days, participants perform 45-minute resistance training sessions, with saliva, blood and muscle samples taken on some days. Participants then complete a control trial, whereby they sleep normally at home and attend Deakin University only for the resistance training, blood and muscle sampling. Trials are scheduled to suit participants’ availability. Participants who complete the full study will be financially reimbursed for their time and commitment.

    For further information, please contact:
    Olivia Knowles at oknowle@deakin.edu.au

  • Can a single session of exercise improve your sugar control and vascular health?

    IPAN researchers are investigating whether a single session of exercise can improve blood sugar control and skeletal muscle microvascular blood flow (blood flow in small blood vessels) after ingestion of a high-sugar meal.

    You may be suitable if you are:

    • Male
    • Aged between 18-40 years old
    • Normal weight (BMI 18-27)
    • Non-smoker and no history of cardiometabolic disease
    • Not taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels

    This study involves four visits to the Deakin University (Burwood Campus) research laboratory. The overall time commitment for this study is around 14 hours (spread across 2-3 weeks).

    The following tests will be conducted:

    • General health, physical activity and medical history questionnaires.
    • Exercise test on a gym bike.
    • Single session of aerobic cycling exercise.
    • Ultrasound assessment of the thigh.Ingestion of a sugary drink and mixed nutrient meal.
    • Venous blood sampling and ultrasound contrast agent infusion.
    • Measurement of energy expenditure and fuel utilisation.

    You will be reimbursed ($100 gift card) at the end of your participation for travel, parking, meals and other expenses associated with the research project.

    For further information, please contact:
    Dr Lewan Parker: Lewan.Parker@deakin.edu.au, +61 3 9246 8740
    A/Prof Michelle Keske: michelle.keske@deakin.edu.au, +61 3 9246 8850

  • What is the role of testosterone in female skeletal muscle adaptation?

    This project aims to understand the relationship between naturally occurring testosterone levels and how skeletal muscle responds to resistance exercise in females. Currently, this relationship is not well understood. Investigating this relationship may help us understand how muscle mass is regulated in females and inform current policies regarding the eligibility of some women to compete in sport.

    What is involved in this project?

    Participants are invited to undergo 12 weeks of FREE resistance training, supervised by an exercise scientist. Trainings take place at Deakin Burwood campus three times a week. As well as receiving training, you will gain information about your maximal strength, testosterone levels and how well your muscles adapt to resistance training.

    Across the 12 weeks, researchers will take two muscle samples, 7 blood and urine samples, and food, sleep and physical activity information.

    Can I participate?

    Participants must be:

    • Aged 18-35 years old
    • Female
    • NOT currently resistance trained
    • Other selection criteria apply

    If you are interested, please contact Sarah Alexander on 0448 384 094 or email sealexa@deakin.edu.au

  • How does short-term overfeeding affect our cardio-metabolic health?

    This study aims to investigate the impact of short-term (7 days) of high fat, high calorie feeding on blood sugar control and microvascular (small blood vessels) blood flow in muscle and fat tissue.

    Are you 18-45 years old with no known history of cardiometabolic disease? If so, you might be eligible to participate in our study.

    What participation involves

    • Completing general health, diet and physical activity questionnaires.
    • Body composition analysis (height, weight and a DEXA scan).
    • Ingestion of a liquid mixed meal followed by blood sampling and contrast agent infusion.
    • Ultrasound measurement of the arm/thigh and abdomen region.
    • Wearing a face mask/mouthpiece to measure oxygen and fuel metabolism.
    • Seven days of high fat, high calorie feeding supervised by a dietitian.

    Benefits of participation

    • You may not receive any direct benefits from participating in this study.
    • You get free information on your fat mass, fat free mass and bone density.
    • You get free information on your glucose levels, blood lipids and insulin sensitivity.

    You will receive a $50 supermarket gift card as reimbursement for your time and travel expenses.

    Please contact us on details given below to discuss your eligibility.

    Dr Gunveen Kaur

    Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences
    Gunveen.Kaur@deakin.edu.au