Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • (2010) Dall'Osso, Filippo; Dominey-Howes, Dale
    Journal Article
    Australia is at risk from tsunamis and recent work has identified the need for detailed models to assess the vulnerability of buildings to damage during tsunamis. Such models will be useful for underpinning the development of land-use zoning regulations, the identification of appropriate design standards and construction codes and in outlining community relevant tsunami disaster risk reduction strategies by local emergency managers. Such strategies might include the identification of coastal areas that require evacuation, the identification of specific buildings that might be the focus of search and rescue efforts, and the demarcation of ‘safe’ evacuation areas and structures within expected tsunami flood zones. Dall’Osso and Dominey-Howes use the results of a very high-resolution assessment of building vulnerability to tsunami (using the PTVA -3 Model) at Manly, Sydney to illustrate how vulnerability assessments could be used to enhance tsunami risk reduction.

  • (2011) Bednall, Timothy; Kehoe, E. James
    Journal Article
    This study examined the effectiveness of providing instructional support for the self-regulation of a self-directed homework assignment. Across four parallel experiments, university students completed an online module on critical thinking. In Experiment 1, participants who were prompted on a broad spectrum of study strategies showed superior performance on a subsequent test of application relative to a control group. In Experiment 2, participants were prompted to use two specific strategies: generation of explanations and summarization. The former improved performance, whereas the latter did not. In Experiment 3, instructional aids designed to facilitate planning improved some aspects of performance relative to the control group. In Experiment 4, attempts to encourage self-feedback impaired performance. In conclusion, beyond encouraging a broad spectrum of study strategies, the generation of explanations and planning particularly improve learning without overburdening working memory.

  • (2012) Mills, Katherine; Teesson, Maree; Back, Sudie; Brady, Kathleen; Baker, Amanda; Hopwood, Sally; Sannibale, Claudia; Barrett, Emma; Merz, Sabine; Rosenfeld, Julia; Ewer, Philippa
    Journal Article
    Context: There is concern that exposure therapy, an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may be inappropriate for patients with co-occurring substance dependence (SD). Objective: To determine whether an integrated treatment for PTSD and SD, Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE), can achieve greater reductions in PTSD and SD symptom severity compared to treatment as usual (TAU) for SD. Design, Setting, and Patients: A randomized controlled trial of 103 participants who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for both PTSD and SD. Participants were recruited from 2007-2009 in Sydney, Australia, and randomized to one of two conditions. The treatment group received COPE plus TAU (COPE+TAU; n=55) and the control group received TAU alone (n=48). Outcomes were assessed at 9-months post-baseline, and interim measures collected at 6-weeks and 3-months post-baseline. Interventions: COPE consists of 13 individual 90-minute sessions (i.e., 19.5 hours) with a clinical psychologist. It represents an integration of existing evidence based manualized cognitive behavioral treatments for PTSD and SD, comprising psychoeducation, motivational enhancement, and cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD and SD, including imaginal and in vivo exposure. Main outcome measures: Change in PTSD symptom severity as measured by the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; scale range 0-240), and change in severity of SD as measured by the number of dependence criteria met according to the Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI; range 0-7), from baseline to 9-month follow-up. A change of 15 points on the CAPS scale and 1 dependence criteria on the CIDI were considered to be clinically significant. Results: From baseline to 9-month follow-up, significant reductions in PTSD symptom severity were found for both the treatment (mean difference -38.24, 95%CI: -47.93 - -28.54) and control group (mean difference -22.14, 95%CI: -30.33 - -13.95), however, the treatment group demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in PTSD symptom severity compared to the control group (mean difference -16.09, 95%CI: -29.00 to -3.19). No significant between group difference was found in relation to improvement in severity of SD (0.43 v 0.52; IRR 0.85, 95%CI: 0.60 - 1.21), nor were there any significant between group differences in relation to changes in substance use, depression or anxiety. Conclusions: Among patients with PTSD and SD, the combined use of COPE+TAU, compared with TAU alone, resulted in improvement in PTSD symptom severity without an increase in severity of SD. Trial registration: Registration number ISRCTN12908171; URL:

  • (2012) Richardson, Rick; Mason, Elizabeth
    Journal Article
    There is now a significant body of work which indicates that excessive disgust responses play a crucial role in the etiology and maintenance of certain anxiety disorders. In addition, emerging literature suggests that disgust may not be effectively reduced by exposure therapy. Because of this, there is a need to arm clinicians with additional therapeutic tools to target maladaptive disgust responses in patients presenting with anxiety disorders. This paper is the first review of potential strategies that may be useful in reducing disgust in the context of anxiety disorders. We first review the evidence for the role of disgust across anxiety disorders, and the research indicating that disgust is resistant to extinction and exposure. We then review and propose novel approaches, both psychological and pharmacological, that may be effective in treating dysfunctional disgust responses. Future research will be needed to determine the effectiveness of these various strategies, however this paper provides a valuable starting point from which to direct research so that ultimately, treatments for anxiety disorders can be improved by focusing on ameliorating dysfunctional and distressing emotions other than fear, such as disgust, that are prominent in certain anxiety disorders.

  • (2013) Tang, Helen; Richardson, Rick
    Journal Article
    Although exclusion can have devastating personal, social, and clinical consequences, several recent studies have identified factors that can reduce its aversive impact (e.g., distraction from rumination, control over a noise). In this study, we continued to explore possible strategies for reducing the aversive experiences of being excluded. Three experiments investigated whether an experience of inclusion reduced the impact of exclusion. Specifically, participants engaged in two rounds of a computer ball toss game (Cyberball) in which they were either included or excluded in each. Participants were told either that they played the two games with the same two sources (Experiment 1), with a different pair of sources in the two games (Experiment 2), or with people and then computer controlled sources (Experiment 3). We measured the impact of exclusion and inclusion on the psychological states of belonging, control, self esteem, meaningful existence, hurt feelings, anger, and affect. Across all three experiments, if inclusion occurred following exclusion then it was found to have an ameliorative benefit. However, if inclusion occurred prior to exclusion there was no protective benefit. Finally, we compared the ratings following one versus two experiences of exclusion, with no additive impact found. Taken together, the results indicate that inclusion can reduce the impact of exclusion, but only if it occurs after exclusion. Further, inclusion is ameliorative when it is by a different group or even a computer program.

  • (2011) Wechsler, Andrea; Ramirez, Mariano; Crosky, Alan; Zaharia, Magdalena; Jones, Haley; Ballerini, Aldo; Nunez, Mario; Sahajwalla, Veena
    Conference Paper
    Most food industry activities result in large amounts of by-product that are often treated as waste and sent to landfill. In Australia, the macadamia nut industries generate as much as 28,000 tonnes of empty shells on an annual basis. These by products are under-utilized, often used for garden mulching or ground and used for animal filler, or else incinerated, as their disposal in landfill is cost-prohibitive, through sheer volume. However, these by-products are perfectly suited to the manufacture of panels, as they come clean and dry after processing, and present excellent physical properties when exposed to high humidity environments, particularly when compared to softwood. This makes them suited to applications such as panel furniture in high moisture environments, including kitchen and bathroom sink countertops or drawers where dimensional, swelling and adhesive problems are often an issue. This paper presents results of research into panels made from macadamia industry by-products in Australia, identified as being particularly abundant and underused. The matrices of these composite materials have been chosen from non-toxic and organic bonding agents, such as castor oil based adhesives. The present study considers and explores the suitability of these materials for high-moisture environment panel applications. Results are presented for the main physical properties and are compared with mixes already available in the market. The results show that these new materials compare well with commercially available materials, exceeding their performance in several cases, particularly with respect to water absorption and thickness swelling. These new panels have the potential to become a sustainable replacement option for high-humidity environment furniture particleboards, made with waste resources

  • (2010) Brener, Loren; Von Hippel, William; Kippax, Susan; Preacher, Kristopher
    Journal Article
    In 2005, 60 health care workers were recruited through services that attract injecting drug users (IDUs) and asked to complete attitude measures regarding IDU clients. Mediation analyses indicated that conservative health care workers displayed more negative attitudes toward their IDU clients because they believe that injecting drug use is within the control of the IDU. Negative attitudes toward IDU clients, in turn, were associated with worry about IDU clients' behavior in the clinic and with beliefs that IDU clients should disclose their hepatitis C status to their health care worker. Perceptions of controllability of drug use were also associated with the belief that IDU clients' ailments were caused by their IDU status. The study's limitations are noted.

  • (2014) Coupland, Kirsten G; Mellick, George D; Silburn, Peter A; Huang, Yue; Halliday, Glenda; Hallup, Marianne; Woojin, S. Kim; Dobson-Stone, Carol; Kwok, John BJ; Mather, Karen; Armstrong, Nicola J; Sachdev, Perminder; Brodaty, Henry
    Journal Article
    Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder for which environmental factors influence disease risk and may act via an epigenetic mechanism. The microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) is a susceptibility gene for idiopathic PD. Methods: Methylation levels were determined by pyrosequencing of bisulfite treated DNA in a leukocyte cohort (358 PD and 1084 controls) and two brain cohorts (Brain1 comprising 69 cerebellum controls, Brain2 comprising 3 brain regions from 28 PD and 12 controls). In vitro assays involved the transfection of methylated promoter-luciferase constructs or treatment with an exogenous micronutrient. Results: In normal leukocytes, MAPT H1/H2 diplotype and gender were predictors of MAPT methylation. Haplotype-specific pyrosequencing confirmed H1 haplotype to have higher methylation than H2 in normal leukocyte and brain tissues. MAPT methylation was negatively associated with MAPT expression in Brain1 cohort and transfected cells. Methylation levels differed between three normal brain regions (Brain2, putamen > cerebellum > anterior cingulate cortex). In PD samples, age at onset was positively associated with MAPT methylation in leukocytes. Moreover, there was hypermethylation in the cerebellum and hypomethylation in the putamen of PD patients compared with controls (Brain2 cohort). Finally, leukocyte methylation status was positively associated with blood Vitamin E levels, the effect being more significant in H2 haplotype carriers; this result was confirmed in cells exposed to 100 μM Vitamin E. Conclusions: The significant effects of gender, diplotype and brain region suggest that hypermethylation of the MAPT is neuroprotective by reducing MAPT expression. Vitamin E effect on MAPT represents a possible gene-environment interaction.

  • (2014) Menviel, Laurie; Timmermann, A; Friedrich, T; England, Matthew
    Journal Article
    Millennial-scale variability associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events is arguably one of the most puzzling climate phenomena ever discovered in paleoclimate archives. Here, we set out to elucidate the underlying dynamics by conducting a transient global hindcast simulation with a 3-D intermediate complexity earth system model covering the period 50 to 30 ka BP. The model is forced by time-varying external boundary conditions (greenhouse gases, orbital forcing, and ice-sheet orography and albedo) and anomalous North Atlantic freshwater fluxes, which mimic the effects of changing northern hemispheric ice volume on millennial timescales. Together these forcings generate a realistic global climate trajectory, as demonstrated by an extensive model/paleo data comparison. Our results are consistent with the idea that variations in ice-sheet calving and subsequent changes of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation were the main drivers for the continuum of glacial millennial-scale variability seen in paleorecords across the globe.

  • (2013) Simpkins, Graham; Ciasto, L; England, Matthew
    Journal Article
    The spatiotemporal sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice season length trends are examined using satellite-derived observations over 1979-2012. While the large-scale spatial structure of multidecadal trends has varied little during the satellite record, the magnitude of trends has undergone substantial weakening over the past decade. This weakening is particularly evident in the Ross and Bellingshausen Seas, where a approximate to 25-50% reduction is observed when comparing trends calculated over 1979-2012 and 1979-1999. Multidecadal trends in the Bellingshausen Sea are found to be dominated by variability over subdecadal time scales, particularly the rapid decline in season length observed between 1979 and 1989. In fact, virtually no trend is detectable when the first decade is excluded from trend calculations. In contrast, the sea ice expansion in the Ross Sea is less influenced by shorter-term variability, with trends shown to be more consistent at decadal time scales and beyond. Understanding these contrasting characteristics have implications for sea ice trend attribution.