The Thoracic Society of ANZ


Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 1.08 OCTOBER 2016

Research Roundup:

October 2016


Welcome Message

Abstract submissions for the TSANZSRS 2017 close tomorrow! Please submit your abstracts and look into applying for the abstract-linked awards.

We are now happy to announce that TSANZ has finalised an en bloc membership agreement with the ERS. Membership to the European Respiratory Society will be available to all TSANZ members upon renewal of your TSANZ membership, at an additional heavily discounted rate. This will give members who choose to take out ERS membership highly discounted member benefits including access to the digital ERS Journal, international ERS awards, and various discounted rates, such as for the ERS Congress.

There is also good news for COPD researchers. We have now opened the new Boehringer ingelheim COPD Research Award. This award will build capacity and foster the development of research in the area of COPD through the support of pilot studies, proof of concept and feasibility studies. Please see below for more detail or visit our awards page.

Lastly, I urge you once again to look to the surveys section of this newsletter. Please support your fellow TSANZ researchers and consider participating in these. We all know how difficult collecting the necessary data can be and this is a good opportunity for collegiate support. 

Enjoy your October Research Roundup,

Prof Phil Hansbro

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

Special Awards and Fellows

Nominations for the TSANZ Research medal are now open to all members of TSANZ. The Research Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in respiratory medicine or science carried out primarily in Australia or New Zealand.

The award recognises an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence in their field of research and is open to all financial members of TSANZ, including Associate members. Please consider nominating yourself or a Colleague for this prestigious award.

The Society Medal and 50th Anniversary Medal for education applications are also open.
For more information 
Nominations close: 24th November

A call for TSANZ Fellows is currently open to members from all professions who demonstrate exceptional contribution to the field of respiratory health in Australia or New Zealand. If the Fellow status is approved, the member will be able to use the post nominal FThorSoc and will be able to continue to do so whilst a financial member of TSANZ.The main aims of the Fellow status are:

1. To recognise expertise and experience in respiratory medicine and/or research and/or respiratory health service provision.
2. To acknowledge a major contribution and commitment to advancing respiratory health in Australia and/ or New Zealand.

Applications close 24th November. Please see for more info.

The following articles will take you to

Thoracic items targeted in MBS review. Proposed changes to spirometry and sleep study items will address problems of under-utilisation of spirometry and over-utilisation of sleep studies as well as better remunerate health care professionals. Read More. 

Holy grail: Reducing the burden of asthma in South Australia. In this month’s Holy Grail Dr Kristen Carson, a Senior Medical Research Scientist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, tells us about her work creating an evidence-based solution to reducing the high rate of asthma related hospitalisations in South Australia. Read More.

Simple home based pulmonary rehab offers hope for some COPD patients. Home-based pulmonary rehabilitation delivered using minimal resources has similar – and in some cases even superior – outcomes to centre-based pulmonary rehabilitation, Australian researchers have found. Read More.

Experts still think more is not better. Australian and New Zealand experts have reiterated their rationale for a target oxygen saturation range of 92-96% instead of the British Thoracic Society recommendation of 94-98%. Read More.

Black lung crisis escalates. A 54-year-old coal miner from Queensland has been confirmed as the 15th case of pneumoconiosis following a re-emergence of the disease last year. Read More.

Potential role for Vitamin D in asthma. A Cochrane review has provided more robust evidence that adding vitamin D supplements to routine asthma management plans may benefit patients. We caught up with the lead author to find out more. Read More.

+ Experts respond. They note that the finding that vitamin D protected against severe asthma attacks is based mainly on results from adults and may not be applicable to children. Read More.

Travel opportunities for APSR Young Investigator members

Award opportunities for APSR Young Investigator members to participate in the APSR-ISRD Joint Session at ATS International Conference, Washington DC in 2017.

Individuals who submit an abstract to ATS 2017 will have a chance to receive a travel award.

View the APSR flyer for more information 

Research Project and Survey Requests

Barriers and facilitators to optimal use of acute oxygen therapy in adults

Dear colleagues,

Our research  team is conducting a study to investigate the  barriers, facilitators and attitudes of health care professionals towards the prescription and delivery of oxygen therapy in the acute care setting. We hope that the results from this study will provide information that will be used to inform and facilitate the translation of evidence based guidelines into clinical practice.

As a clinician who delivers care to patients who use oxygen therapy, we understand that your views and opinions are important. You are invited to participate in this voluntary online survey. It is expected that this should take no longer than 15 minutes. There are no correct or incorrect responses, this survey is designed to explore your opinions regarding acute oxygen therapy.

This study has been granted ethics approval by Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee  (Approval number: 16/04/20/5.03) and the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee (Reference Number: H-2016-0222). For further information you can view the participant information HERE

There are no anticipated risks to you for taking part in this survey. Information that you provide will be anonymous and remain confidential. Only those directly involved in this research have access to any answers that you provide. Participation in the survey implies consent and can be completed by clicking  the  OXYGEN SURVEY LINK HERE

Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions regarding this research.

We thank you in advance for participating and ask you to consider forwarding this survey to other colleagues, who also deliver care to patients with oxygen therapy.

Kind Regards

Professor Vanessa McDonald
Professor Peter Wark
Joyce Cousins (PhD Scholar)

Inhaled Liposomal Amikacin for treatment resistant MAC infection – a randomised control trial enrolling now.

Dear TSANZ members,
There is currently an industry sponsored RCT of Nebulised Liposomal Amikacin for pulmonary MAC infection which has failed six months of standard therapy or relapsed after treatment. This is the first RCT of a novel compound for NTM infection. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are in the link below.

The CONVERT STUDY is an international, multi-centre study and there are a number of study sites in Australia and New Zealand. The study sponsor is prepared to pay for travel and accommodation expenses for people in regional areas to travel to study sites.
If you wish to discuss possible patients for screening and enrolment, I can be contacted via email at, and I can direct you to your nearest study site.

Dr Andrew Burke
Thoracic and Infectious Diseases Physician
The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane
(study PI, no conflicts)

Perioperative care of patients with OSA: A survey of beliefs and management approaches amongst Australian clinicians

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) has a rising prevalence in the general population and in those presenting for surgery. It is an established risk factor for increased incidence of peri-operative and post-operative complications. There are currently no consensus-based recommendations on management of these patients in Australia. We wish to conduct a survey of specialties involved in the care of these patients to examine current practice and beliefs in the perioperative management of OSA. The results will be reviewed by the Respiratory and Sleep Department at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, to identify  current trends in practice, and to ultimately guide towards a consensus approach in this field.

The survey link is:

Dr Chong Weng Ong | Respiratory and Sleep Consultant | St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Joy Sha | Respiratory and Sleep Registrar | St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

COPD survey invitation for Physio, Primary Care and Respiratory Nurse SIG

Dear Colleague

Our research team is conducting a survey to understand physiotherapist’s, occupational therapist’s, nurse’s, social worker’s and other allied health professionals’ knowledge and practice behaviours regarding advance care planning in patients with COPD. From the results of this study we hope to develop educational resources to assist health professionals when caring for this patient group.

We invite to participate in a survey, that should take only 10-15 minutes to complete. Several disciplines are represented in the overall survey, however you will be directed to only those questions relevant to your discipline.

Ethics approval has been granted for this study from the University of Sydney. All responses will be anonymous and confidential. No personal information that could identify you is being collected and your email address will not be linked to your survey response. Your consent to participate in this study is implied by completing the survey.

Further information about this research study is provided in the enclosed document [DOWNLOAD]. If you have any questions regarding this research, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rebecca Disler directly. Thank you in advance for participating.

Please click on the link below to proceed to the survey. If the link fails to load automatically, please cut and paste it into your internet browser:

Kind regards

Dr Rebecca Disler | Senior Lecturer in Chronic Disease | The University of Sydney
Email:  | Tel: 0406 876 587

Dr Natasha Smallwood | Respiratory Physician Department of Respiratory Medicine | The Royal Melbourne Hospital

A/Prof Louis Irving | Respiratory Physician Department of Respiratory Medicine | The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Prof David Currow | Palliative Care Physician Flinders University | Adelaide

STUDENT DECLARATION  Yuxiu Cui will be analysing the study results as the basis for her degree of Bachelor of Advanced Nursing (Honours) at The University of Sydney. This will take place under the supervision of Dr Rebecca Disler.







Become part of a network of professionals working in respiratory and lung health clinical care and treatment, research, health promotion and advocacy.

By browsing our website you agree to our use of cookies outlined in our revised Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.