June 27, 2018  Print

The University of Sydney is seeking participants for two research studies into age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

'Caring for the Carer’: implementing a comprehensive support service model for family caregivers looking after persons with age-related macular degeneration.

The University of Sydney, Macular Disease Foundation and Carers NSW are seeking to undertake research into improving the emotional wellbeing and coping among family carers of people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

They are specifically interested in empowering family carers by helping them make the most of available sources of social and financial support, and improving their adaptive and coping strategies.

Research suggests that caring for loved ones with vision loss is burdensome and often leaves the carer exhausted and at increased risk of health problems. This study is designed to implement and evaluate an intervention program aimed at improving wellbeing, and reducing stress and burden by enhancing the family carer’s management of negative emotions like anxiety, sadness, fear, anger and confusion. This intervention program involves:

1) mail-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy - this is a type of psychotherapy that involves the use of practical self-help strategies, which will help you to better adapt and cope with your caregiving duties;

2) phone-delivered group counselling sessions conducted by Carers NSW, allowing carers to explore the impacts of caring and share their experiences; and

3) education on available community services, financial benefits, and respite services.

If you agree to participate in this study, you will then be asked to complete an assessment package that will take about 45 minutes to complete. This will involve answering questions regarding your caregiver duties, general health status, and quality of life. You will then be randomly assigned to one of two groups to either receive the support service designed to improve psychological adjustment and adaptive coping skills, or a control group which does not require program participation.

The programs will run over a period of 10 consecutive weeks. If you are randomly assigned to the control group at the beginning, you will still be given the option of receiving the caregiver support service at the completion of the project.

 If you would like to participate in the study or know more at any stage, please feel free to contact Diana Tang (Study Coordinator), on +61 2 8627 3337 or diana.tang@sydney.edu.au.

Are you following the right diet for your age-related macular degeneration?

The University of Sydney is offering free telephone-delivered dietary advice for people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This research study will be run by an accredited practising dietitian, and aims to test the effectiveness of telephone coaching to improve your diet and adherence to appropriate supplements for your AMD.

If you are interested in the study or would like more information call
+61 2 8627 3337 or email diana.tang@sydney.edu.au