student profile: Mr Carlos Ivan Mesa Castrillon


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Thesis work

Thesis title: eHealth, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and musculoskeletal pain in rural population

Supervisors: Paulo FERREIRA , Paula BECKENKAMP , Manuela FERREIRA

Thesis abstract:

This thesis focuses on 4 topics: i) eHealth which means the use of technology or the internet to deliver remotely health care services. ii) Musculoskeletal pain, which is between the most common diseases that affect people when talking about disability. Iii) Rural population, which is characterized as people living outside major cities and who commonly are challenged to access health care services because long distances to facilities and hospitals, therefore it is common to find higher rates of back pain and joint replacement surgery of the knee in rural people. iv) Physical activity, which currently is one of the strategies that could help to reduce the burden of diseases like obesity and musculoskeletal pain.

An investigation of the physical activity levels, sedentary behaviour and musculoskeletal pain are necessary for the rural population in order to understand the role of the environment on lifestyle behaviour. Furthermore, strategies as eHealth bring the possibility to get closer, in an efficient manner, to remote towns, which allows people with musculoskeletal pain to save time and money by reducing or eliminating travel time to healthcare facilities meanwhile receiving tailored advice and educational resources. The objectives of this thesis are to investigate: (I) the physical activity levels and sedentary behaviours in rural Australian adults and (II) the feasibility and effects of implementing an eHealth supported intervention for people living in rural NSW-Australia with chronic non-specific low back pain and/or knee osteoarthritis in comparison with usual care on physical function, pain and, quality of life. The first aim will be approached through a systematic review and meta-analysis, and the second aim will be developed using the EMPower study, a randomised pilot controlled trial. Also, the main trial will be developed by increasing the sample size population of the Empower pilot study.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.