Adelaide rheumatologist Catherine Hill has been shortlisted for a research award that will allow her to measure the harms of long term steroid use from a patient perspective.
A finalist in The Hospital Research Foundations’s 50 awards Catherine and her team from Adelaide’s The Queen Elizabeth Hospital will work with patients to develop a generic patient reported outcome measure for the side effects of long term steroid use.
“Steroids are commonly used for a variety of inflammatory diseases with as many as 1 per cent of the Australian adult population using them as treatment on a long term basis,” Professor Hill said in a press release.
“Up to 85 per cent of these patients will experience side effects and the dilemma for many of these people is that they are unable to stop using steroids because their symptoms cannot be controlled without them.
“Some side effects are easy for doctors to measure, such as blood pressure and blood sugar. However others, such as a change in body shape or mood swings, are much more difficult.”
Healthcare professionals need to know which side effects are important to patients but current tools may not be relevant or sensitive enough to capture these patient experiences, she says.
“Our recent surveys have found patients on long term steroids found the most distressing side effects to be fragile skin, easy bruising and also mood changes and sleep disturbance.”
To walk away with the $25,000 research grant Catherine and her team need your vote to help fund this research project.
You can enter your vote — it takes less than one minute — by clicking here .
Voting closes at 12am on the 1st September.