Swinburne develops online clinic for gastroparesis sufferers

Tuesday 15 July 2014

The square Swinburne logo on the west side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building in Hawthorn.

A new website developed by a researcher from Swinburne University of Technology offers free psychologically-focused treatment for people suffering with gastroparesis.

The disease, affecting an estimated 120,000 Australians, is often accompanied by anxiety and depression.

Gastroparesisclinic.org offers information and support for people with gastroparesis who suffer psychological distress, giving them access to two six-week online anxiety and depression treatment programs.

Gastroparesis, a condition referring to a delayed emptying of the stomach, is characterised by chronic nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, and abdominal pain. 

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of gastroparesis, accounting for approximately 30 per cent of cases.

As the prevalence of diabetes in the population continues to rise, it is likely that a greater number of people will require support and treatment for the often debilitating symptoms of gastroparesis. 

Clinical psychologist and Swinburne researcher Dr Simon Knowles has been instrumental in developing the clinic.

“I know that many individuals with gastroparesis experience psychological distress. However, gastroparesis-focused psychological support services are not readily available or accessible,’’ he said.

“Gastroparesisclinic.org.au provides a free program that brings together validated psychological treatments shown to be effective in reducing the psychological distress associated with gastroparesis.’’

The project is part of the ongoing gastrointestinal-focused research collaborations between Dr Simon Knowles, and several hospitals throughout Australia