This month we profile Carolina Gassen Fritsch. Carolina is a PhD candidate researching if text message intervention improves function of people with lower back pain. Originally from Brazil, Carolina is also a physiotherapist.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I am a physiotherapist with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. I am currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, the University of Sydney. I come from the south of Brazil, where many people do not have access to physiotherapy and often receive low value care to manage their musculoskeletal disorders.
What is your research on?
The main project of my PhD thesis is TEXT4myBACK – which is a clinical trial that will investigate if a text message intervention improves function of people with low back pain. Research has shown that text messages can help people to better manage their chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and to improve health (i.e. stop smoking, lose weight and exercise more). So, our research team has developed text messages to empower people with back pain to better manage their condition. The study will assess the effectiveness of different ways of delivering education and advice about low back pain.
What are the real world consequences of your research?
Clinical guidelines currently highlight the importance of education and self-management in the treatment of low back pain. However, they are poorly implemented in clinical practice. If effective, text messages will be an easy, accessible and affordable intervention to provide education and advice about self-management to millions of people suffering from back pain.
What does digital health mean to you?
Digital health means a way of improving individuals’ health and wellness through digital technologies. Digital health strengths combine improving health literacy, empowering people to better manage their health and offering affordable treatments, especially to those who have limited access to health care.
TEXT4myBACK Study information – https://crowdfunding.sydney.edu.au/project/14648
Get in contact with the research team – firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Carolina – email@example.com
Twitter – @cgfritsch
A very big thank you to Carolina for being our July feature!