UWS Clinic offers specialist treatment programs for chronic health conditions

Date: 28/07/2009

The University of Western Sydney has established a new psychological treatment facility which will provide assistance for people whose quality of life has diminished as a result of chronic medical conditions or serious injury.

Dr Kathryn Nicholson Perry, from the UWS School of Psychology, is the clinical psychologist in charge of the Behavioural Medicine Clinic based at the Bankstown Campus.

Dr Nicholson Perry says many people live for years with the pain, trauma and fear that can be associated with serious illnesses and injuries, without considering their full range of treatment options.

"Medications can only go so far in improving quality of life. It is important for people to consider that there may be other ways of improving their well-being despite a chronic physical condition," says Dr Nicholson Perry.

"For example, people who live with epilepsy may be fearful about going out in case of having a seizure or someone injured in a car accident may experience extreme anxiety about travelling by car which impairs their ability to live a normal, fully functional life.

"Rather than relying on anti-anxiety medication, it may be possible for treatment with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to allow people to confront their fears and learn strategies to cope better with ongoing medical conditions."

The Behavioural Medicine Clinic offers specialist assessments and treatment for a range of chronic conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or epilepsy.

Treatments available at the Clinic may also help to manage chronic pain and fatigue; assist with rehabilitation from illness or injury; or help people successfully quit smoking or lose weight in order to reduce the risk of developing health problems.

Dr Nicholson Perry says members of the Greater Western Sydney community are invited to make contact with the team of specialist psychologists at UWS.

"The aim of the Behavioural Medicine Clinic is to help people learn the necessary skills to live a full, happy and productive life despite a chronic health problem," says Dr Nicholson Perry.

"Anyone who feels that their medical condition is affecting their quality of life is welcome to make contact with the Clinic, to see if the treatments available are suitable for them."

The Behavioural Medicine Clinic is one branch of the University of Western Sydney's Psychology Clinic, which also consists of the OCD and Anxiety Disorder Clinic, the Child Assessment Clinic, and a general treatment psychology clinic.

The Clinic functions as a high-tech education facility - with assessments and treatments provided by postgraduate Clinical Psychology students under the supervision of highly experienced and registered Clinical Psychologists and academic staff of the University.

For further information or to schedule an appointment with the UWS Psychology Clinic, call (02) 9772 6686.



Media Officer

Danielle Roddick
02 9678 7086, 0414 308 701