Research in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry is targeted at the interface between psychiatry and general medicine. It is an interesting and diverse field of enterprise that literally probes the boundaries between mind and body.
Current Research Projects
The Sydney University Medical School is undertaking Consultation-Liaison research on all its major clinical campuses. Many of the major projects are outlined below. Details and specific publications may be sought by following the hyperlinks to the academics’ personal pages.
At Canterbury Hospital, Dr Anne Wand is trying to find ways to use education to prevent delirium in hospitalised patients. She is also exploring ways to improve the mental health care for Aboriginal peoples in hospital.
At Royal North Shore Hospital, Dr Loyola McLean is examining the psychological and physical aspects of how we human’s attach to one another. She is studying at the stress response to understand the cause of illnesses like depression, heart disease and posttraumatic stress disorder.
At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, A/Prof Nick Glozier is involved in numerous projects around the public health impact of the co-occurrence of mental and physical health problems. These include: POISE, the world’s largest study focusing upon young, working-age stroke survivors, which is investigating the impact of stoke upon return to work, caring and economic function; SEISMIC, a study of the socio-economic impact of newly diagnosed epilepsy; CREDO, a study conducted through the internet aimed at people with depression and risk factors for heart disease and; NEURON looking at how to improve sleep disturbance identification in primary care.
At Westmead Hospital, Dr Greg de Moore is involved in a multicentre study examining why people who suffer Parkinson’s disease often develop unusual behaviour such as excessive gambling. He is also trying to ascertain why some people who smoke marijuana begin to vomit and shower compulsively. Dr Catherine Mason at Westmead and Nepean Hospitals is researching sexuality and fertility after a cancer diagnosis (with colleagues at the University of Western Sydney), psycho-social adaptation to poor prognosis tumours, anti-depressant prescribing in breast cancer patients and service development in psycho-oncology. Dr Lindsay Carpenter is examining the relationship between lithium use and kidney problems.
At the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Dr Kasia Kozlowska is conducting research in the area of conversion disorder and somatoform pain in collaboration with Prof Lea Williams at The Brain Dynamics Centre. Her two key themes underlying her research are (i) psychosomatic medicine, the interplay between mind and body, and (ii) attachment theory, which highlights that human being develop physically, mentally, and socially in the context of relationships.
In collaboration across campuses, A/Prof Anthony Harris and Drs Christopher Ryan and Tarra Shaw have been examining the body integrity identity disorder – an extremely rare condition where sufferers feel compelled to seek the amputation of perfectly normal limbs. Also across campuses Drs Agnes Chan and Christopher Ryan have recently looked at outcomes after people try to kill themselves by overdosing on antidepressant tablets, while Dr Christopher Ryan and colleagues, in association with Sydney Law School, are investigating the role of psychiatrists in the termination of pregnancy.
Discipline members with an interest in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry are: