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Psychology leader develops app for headaches

psychology
Photo: Psychology expert Professor Paul Martin
A team of Australian researchers are developing a unique app that could assist in the treatment of headaches.

Australian psychology expert Professor Paul Martin, an international authority on the treatment of headache pain, is leading the research into the use of the app, which acts as an electronic diary to record ratings of headache pain.

The app is being developed with Wexpert Technologies as part of Griffith University’s ENHANCE research project, and with further development it’s hoped it could be released publicly for smart devices and all types of computers.

Professor Martin, a past president of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and an Honorary Fellow, has developed the Learning to Cope with Triggers (LCT) approach to headaches which when coupled with cognitive behavioural therapy is designed to assist headache sufferers combat a range of triggers such as stress, noise and food.

Professor Martin, from Griffith Health Institute’s Behaviour Basis of Health program, said participants involved in a study trialing the use of the app state that it’s user-friendly and convenient.

“Information recorded via the app can be directly downloaded into data files, saving time and eliminating transcription errors,” Professor Martin said.

“The technology will enable the team to know when the ratings of head pain are made, rather than relying on the self reports of the participants.

“This app will benefit the ENHANCE project but will also be a very useful tool for other headache researchers around the world.”

Professor Martin trained at the University of Oxford before migrating to Australia and taking up appointments at Monash University, University of Western Australia, University of New England and RMIT University, and has research interests focusing on the mechanisms, triggers and co-morbidity of headaches and migraines.

He was president of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology and is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

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Karen Keast

Karen Keast is a freelance health journalist who writes news and feature articles for HealthTimes.

Karen regularly writes for some of Australia’s leading health news websites and magazines.  In a media career spanning 20 years, Karen has worked as a senior journalist in newspapers and television. She has covered the grind of daily news and worked as a politics reporter at countless state and federal elections.

Since venturing into freelance writing five years ago, Karen has found her niche in writing about the health sector for editors, businesses and corporations.

Karen has interviewed the heads of peak health organisations in Australia and overseas, and written hundreds of news and feature articles covering the dedicated work of health professionals who tread the corridors of hospitals and health services, universities, aged care facilities and practices, day in and day out.

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