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Associate Professor Simon Knowles

Associate Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology

Biography

Simon is a recognised leading expert in the field of Psychogastroenterology, which is the application of psychological science and practice to gastrointestinal health and illness.

Since 2004, Simon has been a clinical and health academic in the Psychology discipline. Over this time, he has attained over AUD$5.9 million in competitive funding and published over 100 peer reviewed publications. Simon’s research is highly cited, with several publications in the top 10% of their field cited in the world. His research has been cited in several leading medical texts (e.g., DSM-5-TR, upcoming Rome-V text) and national and international treatment guides and standards for multiple gastrointestinal conditions. Simon has also co-edited four books, with the two most recent recognised as the leading handbooks for mental health professionals in pediatric and adult Psychogastroenterology. Simon is an invited contributor to the Rome-V text and serves on multiple international and national peak bodies, including Crohn’s and Colitis Australia (CCA) Scientific, Medical and Quality of Care (SMQC) Advisory Committee.

Simon has an active interest in mHealth and eHealth research, having developed and evaluated mobile apps to improve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management/identification of psychological issues, and is the creator of several websites that provide up-to-date information and free 5-week resilience programs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (https://www.IBS.Mindovergut.com; formerly IBSclinic.org.au), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (https://www.IBD.Mindovergut.com; formerly IBDclinic.org.au), Gastroparesis (https://www.Gastroparesis.Mindovergut.com; formerly gastroparesisclinic.org), Coeliac Disease (https://www.Coeliac.Mindovergut.com) and Bladder and Bowel Anxieties (also known as shy bladder, shy bowel, and incontinence anxiety; https://www.BBA.Mindovergut.com; formally toiletanxiety.org). Together, since 2013 these free eHealth resources have provided over 570,000 individuals around the world with comprehensive and accurate expert-reviewed sources of information and evidence-based psychologically-focused resilience programs. Reflecting the significant impact of these eHealth resources, Simon was awarded 1st place in the Swinburne University FHAD impact award in 2019.

Simon has a clinical-health practice that specialises in working with individuals with chronic illnesses of the gastrointestinal system, see: https://www.mindovergut.com

Research interests

Clinical Psychology; Health Psychology; eHealth; Gastroenterology; Chronic illness

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Disordered eating, eating disorders and their overlap with gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions: Dataset to be collected 

Experiences of brain fog in gastrointestinal conditions: Dataset to be collected 

Exploring resilience in individuals living with a gastrointestinal condition: Dataset to be collected

Functional dyspepsia and psychological well-being: Dataset to be collected 

Hypnosis versus mindfulness as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome: Dataset to be collected 

Living with a stoma and the psychosocial processes associated with adjustment: Dataset to be collected

Psychological aspects of GI conditions: Dataset to be collected

Sexual health and gastrointestinal conditions: Dataset to be collected 

Honours

Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

COVID-19 and brain fog: Data to be collected.

EXPERIENCES OF BRAIN FOG IN GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS: Dataset to be collected

MASTERS STUDENTS - CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE I: 400+ student responses using any of the following measures: psychological needs, fear of missing out, psychological distress (anxiety, depression, and stress subscales), self-compassion, dysfunctional attitudes (i.e., core beliefs), problematic thinking patterns (e.g., catastrophising) self-control, social anxiety, personality, resilience, and loneliness. 

MASTERS STUDENTS - CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE II: 400+ student responses using any of the following measures: bowel and bladder symptoms, bowel and bladder incontinence severity, shy bladder and bowel severity, social anxiety, self-control, dysfunctional attitudes (i.e., core beliefs), loneliness, guilt and shame, psychological distress, contamination fears, social desirability, sensitivity towards disgust, personality (dark triad).

MASTERS STUDENTS - DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF THE DASS-6: Using data collected (400+ student responses), develop and validated a 6-item version of the DASS-21.

MASTERS STUDENTS – Exploring the validity of disordered screening tools for individuals living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): This project involves assessing the validity of disordered eating screening tools (e.g., EAT-26, SCOFF) in a cohort of individuals living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The student would be PAID to undertake brief interview assessments with approximately 30 participants.

SOCIAL ANXIETY AND PARURESIS/PARCOPRESIS PROJECT: Along with the extended bivalent model of social anxiety, does a sensitivity to disgust play a role in paruresis (shy bladder) or parcopresis (shy bowel)? (Data already collected >1000 responses)

SOCIAL ANXIETY AND SOCIAL DISTANCE PROJECT: Do the psychosocial processes of the extended bivalent model of social anxiety predict interpersonal distance preferences, and are there gender differences? (Data already collected >1000 responses) 

Teaching areas

Clinical Psychology;Health Psychology

Awards

  • 2019, Swinburne, Highest Clinical Postgrad Student Unit Satisfaction Award Semester 1 2019, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2019, Swinburne, Faculty of Health Arts and Design Supervision Excellence Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2019, Swinburne, 1st place in the Faculty of Health Arts and Design Research Impact Awards, Swinburne University of Technology

Publications

Also published as: Knowles, Simon; Knowles, S.; Knowles, S. R.; Knowles, Simon R.; Knowles, Simon Robert
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2023: Randomized E-hypnotherapy for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Trial (REST) *; MRFF Clinical Trials Activity
  • 2012: A validation of an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) online support program involving two studies *; Melbourne Health
  • 2012: Mindfulness and coping in chronic illness: insights from a study of joint replacement surgery *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2010: Assessing the anxiolytic effects of a proprietary magnolia and phosphatidylserine extract: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Canopus BioPharma) *; Canopus BioPharma

* Chief Investigator