The Australia and New Zealand SIG brings together Australian and New Zealand researchers in the field of quality of life research. Given geographical remoteness of Australian and New Zealand quality of life researchers from colleagues in the northern hemisphere, there is a need for a local-based organization to bring together and support local researchers.
The aims of the SIG are to foster connections between local researchers and facilitate exchange of ideas, development of collaborative opportunities and discussion and dissemination of PRO-related findings from SIG members. The SIG also supports and nurtures emerging local researchers working in the area of quality of life research through providing forum to discuss their work with experienced researchers and mentorship opportunities.
Bimonthly teleconference to exchange news and ideas and update members on the upcoming events.
Joint project by Australia SIG members, to showcase quality of life research in Australia and New Zealand.
Connect with Australia and New Zealand SIG members through ISOQOL Teamwork platform.
Quality of Life Quarterly: ISOQOL's quarterly newsletter will include updates from Australia and New Zealand SIG.
Chair: Lucy Busija, PhD
Dr. Lucy Busija is a senior biostatistician at the Institute for Health and Aging Research at the Australian Catholic University. Her main area of expertise is in latent variable modelling, including structural equation modelling, item response theory, and latent class analysis, with particular emphasis on the application of these methods to the study of outcomes of chronic illness. Dr. Busija also has a special interest in methodological aspects of measurement. She has led the development of the Osteoarthritis Questionnaire (OA-Quest) and played a key role in the evaluation of a number of outcome measures, including Rapid Assessment of Disability (RAD) questionnaire, the Influenza Intensity and Impact Questionnaire (Flu-iiQ), and the Single Checking and Administration of Medications Scale (SCAMS).
Chair Elect: Claudia Rutherford, PhD
Dr. Claudia Rutherford is Quality of Life Research Fellow, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, and visiting Research Fellow, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research, University of Leeds. With a PhD in Health Outcome Measurement, she specialises in patient-reported outcomes (PRO), including health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and symptom burden. Her research focuses on the development of valid and reliable PRO measures; assessment of clinical and psychometric validity, reliability and statistical efficiency of existing PRO measures; and all aspect of PRO inclusion in clinical trial protocols, including PRO objective and hypotheses, selection of appropriate PRO measures and time-points. Her current research interest is in incorporating PROs into information provision, shared decision making, and the nursing curriculum. Dr. Rutherford has been a member of ISOQOL since 2006 and Associate Editor for Quality of Life Research since 2015. She has contributed to conference abstract review and was a member of the Workshop and Symposium Committee 2014-15.
Chair Elect: Rasa Ruseckaite, PhD
Dr. Rasa Ruseckaite is a Senior Research Fellow at the Transfusion Research Unit at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. With an undergraduate degree in Science, Rasa has a Master of Science and two PhDs; one in Applied Computer Science from Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania and the other in Neuroscience from the Australian National University in 2004.
She leads a number of projects involving analysis of the Massive Transfusion Registry data from Australia and New Zealand. This registry is a unique and important resource for clinicians in Australia, New Zealand and internationally, for Blood Services and for the broader community. It provides observational data regarding the types and frequency of conditions associated with critical bleeding requiring massive transfusion, the use of blood component therapy, patient outcomes and quality of life.
Treasurer: Rebecca Mercieca-Bebber
Rebecca Mercieca-bebber is a Research Officer at the Quality of Life Office, University of Sydney, where she provides advice about patient-reported outcomes to the 13 Australian Cancer Clinical Trials Groups. Her PhD is focused on methodological issues with protocol development, reporting of PRO studies, and strategies for reducing the problem of missing PRO data in clinical trials.
Photo: Inaugural meeting of SIG Australia, Vancouver, 2015 (from left to right: Rebecca Mercieca-Bebber, Hayley Whitford, Lucy Busija, Rasa Rusekaite, Madeleine King, Claudia Rutherford).