News and Events

Few Australian adolescents with type 1 diabetes have confidential visits with doctors


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Not many adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in Australia have confidential visits with their doctors as guidelines recommend, new research suggests.While guidelines emphasize the benefits of seeing young people alone for confidential consultations, parental involvement is known to contribute to better diabetes control in young people with T1DM, and parents may feel conflicted about allowing their children to have more independence in the health setting, the authors write online February 10 in Journal of Adolescent Health.

New publication: Balancing parental involvement with adolescent health care

Dr-Rony-DuncanA recent paper Balancing Parental Involvement With Adolescent Friendly Health Care in Teenagers With Diabetes: Are We Getting It Right? was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

This paper discusses how the rates of confidential care for adolescents in chronic illness outpatient settings are low. Parents also feel conflicted about confidential care for adolescents in this setting. Understanding how to attend to both parent and adolescent perspectives is an important clinical and research opportunity.

Lancet Editorial

adolescents1One Quarter of the world’s population are adolescents. Over the last 18 months there have been increasing numbers of academic publications recognizing the importance of adolescent issues, and now there is to be a Lancet Commission in Adolescent Health in partnership with the University of Melbourne, University College London, London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Columbia University. Vol 383 February 1, 2014 385
Click here to read the Article

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Le Grange


Warmest congratulations to Professor Daniel Le Grange who has just been awarded the Academy of Eating Disorder’s Leadership Award for Research for 2014.

The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment and prevention. Their Leadership Award for Research honours an individual who has used research to develop new knowledge about eating disorders that has had a measureable impact on the field.

Given the contribution that Prof Le Grange has made to Family Based Treatment for adolescent eating disorders, he is a most worthy recipient, who we are honoured to work with. Thanks to a grant from the Baker Foundation, Professor Le Grange spends part of the year at the Centre for Adolescent Health in a research leadership role (Professorial Fellow) within the RCH Eating Disorder Program (The University of Melbourne). His core academic appointment is at The University of Chicago, where he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Eating Disorders Program at The University of Chicago.

Centre farewell’s visiting doctoral student from Iran


The Centre for Adolescent Health recently farewelled Ms Elham Khoori, a senior midwife from Gorgan, Iran who has a special interest in adolescent reproductive and sexual health.

Accompanied by her husband, a reproductive biologist, and their two sons, Ms Khoori spent 6 months at the Centre for Adolescent Health and at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute as part of her doctoral training at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery.  The topic of her doctoral thesis is ‘Health Concerns of Iranian Adolescents: A Mixed Methods Study”, which is a school based study that focuses on the concerns of Iranian young people, including aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. In addition to her research experiences, Ms Khoori was also able to learn about different Australian models of clinical services for adolescents in both primary care and specialist settings.

Prior to her departure, Ms Khoori presented some of her research findings to the clinical and research groups of the Centre for Adolescent Health, which were met with much interest. She also presented her finding to the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne.

We wish her well on her return home

Susan Sawyer

Tips for coping with exam stress

booksVCE exams are just around the corner and you’re probably feeling stressed.

You’re not the only one. Thousands of adolescents are feeling the same way, especially as the exams get closer. But feeling stressed can be a good sign, it means that you care about how your exams go and a bit of stress keeps you motivated to work hard to perform as well as you can.

It’s keeping it in check that’s important. Too much stress or worry can lead to sleep difficulties, poor concentration and memory and clearly that’s not going to help.

So, how can you find the right balance?

  1. Be positive: You can only do the best you can do. Remember that you will be okay regardless of the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) you end up with. There are many opportunities and possibilities out there for you to discover.
  2. Be organised: Use your time wisely by writing a study plan for each day. Be realistic with the amount of time you plan to spend studying. Trying to do too much at once won’t be effective or productive.
  3. Take breaks: Most people need a break every 30 minutes to keep focused. A short walk or chat with someone will be time well spent if it allows you to concentrate during the times when your work is in front of you.
  4. Do some exercise: Being active is as good for your brain as it is for your body during exam time. Not only providing a break, it gives you space to think and relax.
  5. Get plenty of sleep: A good night time routine which includes switching off all your screens is vital. Going to bed at a reasonable hour will enable you to get the rest you need. Tiredness and fatigue can worsen anxiety and will increase your stress level.
  6. Avoid caffeine and other substances: Coffee, energy drinks and anything else containing the ingredient guarana are not helpful. Actually, they can make exam time more difficult by increasing anxiety and sleep problems. They can even land you in hospital if you have too much.
  7. Get help: If you feel that things are getting out of control or you are not coping there are many people that can help. For some teenagers this might mean talking to mum or dad, an older sister, brother, teacher or friend. If you need to you can also speak to your local doctor or call Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800. They can chat any time of the day or night and can direct you to the most appropriate care.

Best of luck. We wish you well!

Free on-line learning modules on AYA cancer


The Centre for Adolescent Health in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service is celebrating the launch of two online learning modules on cancer care for adolescents and young adults (AYA). The modules have been created using a novel method of online learning developed out of Harvard Medical School known as spaced education, where courses are comprised entirely of multiple choice questions and answers delivered to the learner’s email inbox at regular intervals. The approach is backed by a strong evidence base and has been found to improve knowledge acquisition, increase long-term knowledge retention and effectively change behaviour.

 “Learners receive two questions every other day, which can be accessed via desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone,” explains Project Coordinator Sam Van Staalduinen. “You receive immediate feedback on your responses along with corresponding evidence-based information, key messages and freely available resources. It’s about delivering short bursts of information at a time and place that suits the learner- the approach allows people to enhance their understanding of issues relating to young people with cancer and develop greater confidence in working with this unique patient group through a fun approach to learning that only takes a few minutes a day.” Upon completion of each module, learners also gain access to a website containing all of the information and resources for future reference.

 Cancer Care for Adolescents and Young Adults Part I and II are freely available and aimed at clinical and non-clinical professionals working with young people with cancer, or anyone with a professional interest in the field. Click here for more information or visit to enrol (best viewed in a modern browser such as Firefox or Safari).










Study Adolescent Health and Wellbeing


Postgraduate Programs at the University of MelbournUOM-Pos3D_S_Sm_new- surveymonkeye

The Centre for Adolescent Health offers post graduate courses in adolescent health and wellbeing. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about our courses, meet our lecturers and hear from our graduates.

Information Night
6.00 - 7.00 pm
Wednesday, 25th September
Vernon Collins Theatre
Royal Children’s Hospital


Truth about CATS has won an award!

The Truth About CATS was awarded the Warren Sturgis Motion Media AwardCATS_Project_identifier_200 at the BioCommunications Association (USA) BioImages 2013 awards.

BioImages is an annual visual media competition that showcases the finest still, graphics and motion media work in the life sciences and medicine. Entries are evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges based on their impact, clarity, scientific content, technique, lighting, image quality, presentation, creativity, originality and effective use of the medium to fulfill its purpose. Best of Show, Award of Excellence, and Citation of Merit awards, in addition to five sponsored Merit Awards, are given in three visual media divisions: Still, Graphics and Motion. Winners are announced at the BioImages Opening Reception and Awards Presentation, held each year in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting.

Click on the link for the award winners.

IAAH Conference, Istanbul, Turkey

gp1The International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) Conference – Istanbul, Turkey 2013

The Centre for Adolescent Health was well represented at the recent 10th World Congress of the International Association for Adolescent Health in Istanbul, Turkey. Held every 4 years, the international conference showcases the best of adolescent health research, practice and training initiatives across the globe. As Dr Rony Duncan, research fellow from the MCRI Centre for Adolescent Health said, “I always knew the Centre was doing great things, but until attending the meeting, I don’t think I’d quite appreciated how much we are right at the cutting edge of adolescent health”.

Held amid mounting local protests and demonstrations, the conference was a stark reminder of how political and social environments can shape young people’s health and well-being, and how young people can be agents of change within their own communities. Crowds of young people protested daily just 10 minutes from the conference venue to take a stand against the style of leadership that they are currently experiencing in Turkey. Peaceful in intent, they were met with tear gas and pepper spray (as were some of our delegates!), which only fuelled larger, more intense protests. Many of the Turkish youth delegates at the conference left the conference venue each night to join their fellow university students and professors in Taksim Square.

A recent editorial in the Lancet powerfully highlighted the importance of engaging young people within their communities:

This year, the conference theme was ‘bridging clinical and public health perspectives’. Presentations by CAH staff spanned the breadth of research undertaken at the Centre for Adolescent Health. This included:

Peter Azzopardi: Advancing Indigenous youth research  rd1

Kristina Bennett: Development of the adolescent-friendly hospital survey

Sarah Drew: Meeting the psychosocial and supportive care needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer

Rony Duncan: Why are parents concerned about confidentiality for adolescents?

Meagan Hunt: Youth participation within the Chronic Illness Peer Support program: resolving tensions between model and experience

George Patton: Session on the recent Lancet series on Adolescent Health – The world’s adolescents: opportunities for development and health + Plenary presentation on Adolescent Health

Susan Sawyer: Session on the recent Lancet series on Adolescent Health – Adolescence: a foundation for future health + symposium leader on measuring quality healthcare for adolescents

Michele Yeo: Recognizing and managing physical complications of eating disorders in adolescents: challenges and strategies

Joanne Williams: Recruitment challenges: a randomised trial of a community based obesity intervention for adolescents

Pictured here are:
(a) Professor George Patton giving his plenary address.
(b)  Four of the Centre’s delegates: Anne-Emmanuelle Ambresin, Meagan Hunt, Kristina Bennett and Rony Duncan.