2008-09 Summer Students

Posted by on 3 November 2008

Report on the Hope Foundation Sponsored 2008 –09 Summer Research Studentships in the University of Auckland

During the 2008 – 2009 University vacation the HOPE Foundation sponsored two students, one from the Department of Psychological Medicine and the other from the Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, to enable them to undertake specific academic research.

Emma Macdonald

Emma’s research was an attempt to discover whether it is possible to predict functional recovery following cardiac surgery from drawings made by the patient.

Patient perceptions of illness have been found to contribute significantly to their physiological and psychological recovery. . Emma used drawings done by the patients both before and after surgery as a means of gauging whether patient perceptions are indicative of the clinical and psychological outcomes. If this use of drawing is found to be effective it could be encouraged as a normal part of clinical practice. The outcome though not definitive was encouraging.

Amanda Siu

Amanda’s research project was entitled:

The validation of two calculators of fracture risk in healthy New Zealand post-menopausal women.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Garvan Institute in Australia have devised calculators that factor in risk factors for fractures in people with osteoporosis in an attempt to identify those who are most likely to sustain fractures. This knowledge would allow early targeted interventions in such people. Her research was an attempt to discover if these calculators were relevant for the New Zealand population. She found that neither calculator was particularly useful.

The results of this research were presented at the May meeting of the Auckland Branch of the NZAssociation of Gerontology. The audience comprised health professionals and the Friends and supporters of the HOPE Foundation.

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