New research centre helps road accident victims

Samirah Abdulla

On the same day that the Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety, The Honourable Mark Bailey MP launched a road-safety advertising blitz, he visited the recently established Griffith University Centre of Research Excellence in Recovery Following Road Traffic Injuries.

During Mr Bailey’s visit this week he learnt of the new strategies the unit was developing to help road accident victims get back on their feet.

The Minister spoke to research staff and clinical trial participant Samirah Abdulla about her recent participation in research combining physiotherapy and psychological therapies.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Daniel Harvie explained that while 50 per cent of people recovered fully after road accidents involving whiplash, others could have ongoing symptoms, and these people were the focus of the centre’s research.

“We are looking to identify this group as early as possible, particularly the 25 per cent who have significant problems with pain and disability in the long term,” he said.

Dr Harvie said the staff were focused on developing new ways to help people recover after motor vehicle accidents.

Ms Abdulla was involved in a serious road accident about two years ago and, until recently, was struggling to get her life back to normal.

“It was not so much about the pain, it was about how I felt about it,” she said.

“The staff here have helped me with the psychological effects of the accident and I am back working and driving now.”