Clinical Trials

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are research investigations in which people volunteer to test new treatments, interventions or tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage various diseases or medical conditions. Some investigations look at how people respond to a new intervention and what side effects might occur. This helps to determine if a new intervention works, if it is safe, and if it is better than the interventions that are already available.

Clinical trials might also compare existing interventions, test new ways to use or combine existing interventions or observe how people respond to other factors that might affect their health (such as dietary changes).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a clinical trial as:

any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related intervention to evaluate the effects on health outcomes’

Further information relating to the purpose of clinical trials can be found at Australian Clinical Trials

Our clinical trials

Professor Michele Sterling, CRE Director and Program Lead of the Musculoskeletal Injury Program at RECOVER Injury Research Centre, has over 20 year’s research experience conducting innovative clinical trials on patients with road traffic injury and other musculoskeletal conditions, in both the emergency department and primary care settings.

Michele’s research has driven a paradigm shift to new approaches that identify people at risk of chronic pain to target mechanisms of pain (e.g. psychological, neurobiological), to ensure treatments are provided to those who need them most. Findings from clinical trials conducted by Michele have been adopted globally in Clinical Guidelines used by physiotherapists, doctors and other disciplines, and have informed international and national policy.

As Chief Investigator A, Michele was awarded grants from the prestigious Medical Research Future Fund to conduct two new clinical trials:

PICOT: Implementing integrated psychological and physical care for Australians after road traffic injury

PRioRTI: PReventing chronic pain after whiplash Road Traffic Injury

Discover more about these trials by clicking the tabs to the right