Congratulations Dr Claudia Marck!

Dr Claudia Marck has received a 3 year Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia.

Optimising MS management through improved information and resources to guide decision making, is a 3-year project grant with co-investigator Professor Anne Kavanagh, 2021-2023.

Managing MS well requires self-management skills, including decision-making skills. It also requires considerable guidance and teaching from health care professionals on health and wellness strategies. However, current gaps in the availability and quality of resources in this area can make decision-making for people living with MS challenging. The need for smoking cessation is an example of an area of MS care which has received a lot of attention in recent times, but there is little in the way of direct guidance for people living with MS to stop smoking successfully.

In her research, Claudia Marck aims to uncover these gaps and help develop resources to promote safer and more effective outcomes for people living with MS. There are several areas of focus in this research. Dr Marck aims to develop smoking cessation resources specifically for the MS community. Additionally, the team will develop new statistical methods to assess the effectiveness of different MS treatments such as psychological interventions and physical activity, not just medications. Dr Marck will also focus on these treatments and their impact on common MS symptoms, such as walking impairment, depression and fatigue. Dr Marck also hopes to more deeply understand how self-management skills and access to healthcare may be impacted by crises, such as the recent Australian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outcomes from this research will assist both health care professionals working in MS, and people living with MS, to access appropriate resources to promote self-management, decision making and wellness, improving both quality of life and health in general.

Claudia is undertaking a research project titled Crisis resilience in persons with MS with collaborators Professor Lisa Gibbs (MSPGH, University of Melbourne) and Dr Yvonne Learmonth (Murdoch University) ($230,000, 2021-2023).