A NSW Government website


Rheumatology Research

Our Researchers

Dr Bethan Richards

Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Epidemiologist and Head of the Department of Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Deputy Director, Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, Sydney Local Health District

Senior Clinical Lecturer, School of Medicine, University of Sydney.

Chief Medical Wellness Officer and Director, Sydney Local Health District MDOK Centre

Professor Jane Bleasel

Senior Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Director, Sydney Medical Program and Director of Academic Education, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

Dr Angela Fu

Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Professor Inam Haq

Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Staff Cardiologist, Children's Hospital Westmead

Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

Clinical Associate Professor Neil McGill

Visiting Medical Officer in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Dr Christopher Needs

Senior Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Co-Chair, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation Muscular Skeletal Network

Dr Matthew Parker

Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Clinical Lecturer, University of Sydney

Dr Michael Spies

Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Clinical Superintendent of Medicine, RPA Basic Physician Training Network

Professor Peter Youssef

Senior Staff Specialist in Rheumatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Clinical Professor of Rheumatology, University of Sydney

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$480,078 MRFF Preventive and Public Health, 2020-2023
Physical activity promotion by health professionals to increase physical activity: two hybrid type II implementation-effectiveness cluster randomised waitlist controlled trials in hospital outpatient settings
Investigators: Hassett L, Sherrington C, Pinheiro M, Howard K, Jennings M, Greaves C, Alison J, Walkley J, Haynes A, Bauman A, Smith B, Brady B, Richards B, Vassallo G, Cole J, West K, D’Sousa M.
$315,764 2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission, Stream 2- incubator, 2021-2025
Optimising outcomes for patients with back pain by preventing hospital admission
Investigators: Maher, C; Buchbinder, R; Needs, C; Richards, B; Shaw, M; Hutchings, O; Dearing, C; Edwards, J; Rogan, E; Coombs, D; Teng, MJ; Dodd, R; Ghinea, N; Harris, I.

Our Publications


Amorim AB, Coombs D, Richards B, Maher CG, Machado GC. Text Messaging and Web-Based Survey System to Recruit Patients With Low Back Pain and Collect Outcomes in the Emergency Department: Observational Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2021;9(3):e22732
Anandacoomarasamy, A., Richards, B., Ward, L., Langford, K., Wallace, G., Sinclair, T., Anderson, T. and Barnsley, L. (2022), Design and Implementation of Flexible Advanced Training in Rheumatology: Report of a pilot program. Intern Med J. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1111/imj.15403
Caterson HC, Youssef P. Sulfasalazine-induced myopathy in a patient with an acute spondyloarthritis. Intern Med J. 2022 Jan;52(1):155. doi: 10.1111/imj.15654. PMID: 35060279.
Caterson, H.C., McGill, N.W. and Brown, W. (2021), Acute calcific periarthritis of the hip joint. Intern Med J, 51: 1756-1757. https://doi.org/10.1111/imj.15526
Coombs DM, Machado GC, Richards B, et al. Clinical course of patients with low back pain following an emergency department presentation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Emergency Medicine Journal 2021;38:834-841.
Coombs DM, Machado GC, Richards B, Wilson R, Chan J, Storey H, Maher CG. Healthcare costs due to low back pain in the emergency department and inpatient setting in Sydney, Australia. Lancet Reg Health West Pac. 2021 Jan 29;7:100089. doi: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2020.100089. PMID: 34327417; PMCID: PMC8315649.
Coombs, Danielle & Machado, Gustavo & Richards, Bethan & Needs, Chris & Buchbinder, Rachelle & Harris, Ian & Howard, Kirsten & Mccaffery, Kirsten & Billot, Laurent & Edwards, James & Rogan, Eileen & Facer, Rochelle & Li, Qiang & Maher, Chris. (2021). Effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention to improve emergency department care of low back pain: A stepped-wedge, cluster-randomised trial. BMJ Quality & Safety. 30. bmjqs-2020. 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-012337.
Fairley JL, Hansen D, Proudman S, Sahhar J, Ngian GS, Walker J, Strickland G, Wilson M, Morrisroe K, Ferdowsi N, Major G, Roddy J, Stevens W, Nikpour M; Australian Scleroderma Interest Group. Clinical Features of Systemic Sclerosis-Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and Systemic Sclerosis Overlap Syndromes. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 May;73(5):732-741. doi: 10.1002/acr.24167. Epub 2021 Apr 3. PMID: 32058672.
Ferreira, G. E., Zadro, J. R., O'Keeffe, M., Buchbinder, R., Maher, C., Latimer, J., & ANZMUSC Clinical Trials Network (2021). Challenges faced by musculoskeletal health research in Australia and New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Internal medicine journal, 51(4), 622. https://doi.org/10.1111/imj.15254
Ferreira, G.E., Herbert, R., Machado, G.C., Richards, B., Harris, I.A., O'Keeffe, M., Zadro, J.R. and Maher, C.G. (2021), Low back pain presentations to New South Wales emergency departments: Trends over time and geographical variation. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 33: 868-874. https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.13745
Hanna S, Youssef P, Lowe P. Novel combination biologic therapy for recalcitrant psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in a medically complex patient. Australas J Dermatol. 2022 Feb;63(1):e63-e66. doi: 10.1111/ajd.13752. Epub 2021 Nov 23. PMID: 34813085.
Jee AS, Parker MJS, Bleasel JF, Troy LK, Lau EM, Jo HE, Teoh AKY, Adelstein S, Webster S, Corte TJ. Baseline Characteristics and Survival of an Australian Interstitial Pneumonia with Autoimmune Features Cohort. Respiration. 2021;100(9):853-864. doi: 10.1159/000515396. Epub 2021 Apr 19. PMID: 33873185.
Jee AS, Parker MJS, McGill N, Bleasel JF, Webster S, Troy LK, Corte TJ. Nailfold capillaroscopy by smartphone-dermatoscope for connective tissue disease diagnosis in interstitial lung disease: a prospective observational study. ERJ Open Res. 2021 Nov 8;7(4):00416-2021. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00416-2021. PMID: 34760999; PMCID: PMC8573234.
Jee AS, Sheehy R, Hopkins P, Corte TJ, Grainge C, Troy LK, Symons K, Spencer LM, Reynolds PN, Chapman S, de Boer S, Reddy T, Holland AE, Chambers DC, Glaspole IN, Jo HE, Bleasel JF, Wrobel JP, Dowman L, Parker MJS, Wilsher ML, Goh NSL, Moodley Y, Keir GJ. Diagnosis and management of connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease in Australia and New Zealand: A position statement from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. Respirology. 2021 Jan;26(1):23-51. doi: 10.1111/resp.13977. Epub 2020 Nov 24. PMID: 33233015; PMCID: PMC7894187.
Jee, A., Parker, M., Bleasel, J., Troy, L., Lau, E., Jo, H., Teoh, A., Webster, S., Adelstein, S., Corte, T. (2021). Diagnosis of myositis-associated interstitial lung disease: Utility of the myositis autoantibody line immunoassay. Respiratory Medicine, 187, 106581.
Karjalainen T, Richards B, Buchbinder R. Platelet-rich plasma injection for tennis elbow: did it ever work? BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2022;8:e001258. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2021-001258
Karjalainen T, Richards B, Buchbinder R. Platelet-rich plasma injection for tennis elbow: did it ever work? BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2022;8:e001258. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2021-001258
Loarce-Martos J, Lilleker JB, Parker M, McHugh N, Chinoy H. Polymyositis: is there anything left? A retrospective diagnostic review from a tertiary myositis centre. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Jul 1;60(7):3398-3403. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa801. PMID: 33367878.
Melman, Alla & Maher, Chris & Needs, Chris & Machado, Gustavo. (2022). Many people admitted to hospital with a provisional diagnosis of nonserious back pain are subsequently found to have serious pathology as the underlying cause. Clinical rheumatology. 10.1007/s10067-022-06054-w.
Oliveira CB, Amorim HE, Coombs DM, et al. Emergency department interventions for adult patients with low back pain: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Emergency Medicine Journal 2021;38:59-68.
Oliveira CB, Hamilton M, Traeger A, Buchbinder R, Richards B, Rogan E, Maher CG, Machado GC. Do patients with acute low back pain in emergency departments have more severe symptoms than those in general practice? A systematic review with meta-analysis. Pain Med. 2021 Sep 4:pnab260. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnab260. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34480571.
Pavic, Katrina & McGill, Vicki & D'Souza, Mario & McGill, Neil. (2022). The preservation of synovial fluid using dimethyl sulfoxide. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry: International Journal of Laboratory Medicine. 000456322210763. 10.1177/00045632221076349.
Sammel, A. M., Spies, M. C., DeCarle, R., Rayment, M., & Joshua, F. (2017). Shear?wave elastographic ultrasound of metacarpophalangeal synovium in rheumatoid arthritis-A pilot study. Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 20(2), 58-65. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajum.12047
Sheikh ASF, Parker MJS, Gilbert R, Chinoy H. Focal hamstring muscle oedema and atrophy post-anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction mimicking focal myositis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Feb 1;60(2):984-985. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa397. PMID: 32844226.
Spies, M., Robaei, D., Baker, L., & Jepson, N. (2015). Mediastinal haematoma complicating percutaneous coronary intervention via the radial artery. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 24, S283-S284.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2015.06.402
Spies, M.C., Gutjahr-Holland, J.A., Bertouch, J.V. and Sammel, A.M. (2022), Prevalence of Neuropsychiatric Lupus in Psychosis Patients Who Have Tested Positive for Antinuclear Antibodies. Arthritis Care Res, 74: 427-432. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.24472
Taylor J, Stratton E, McLean L, et al. How junior doctors perceive personalised yoga and group exercise in the management of occupational and traumatic stressors. Postgraduate Medical Journal Published Online First: 09 March 2021. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-139191
Wallbank G, Sherrington C, Hassett L, Canning CG, Shepherd R, Richards B, Mackay C, Tiedemann A. Active Women over 50. Promoting Physical Activity in Women Over 50: A Randomized Trial. Am J Health Promot. 2022 Feb;36(2):305-309. doi: 10.1177/08901171211045678. Epub 2021 Dec 2. PMID: 34854695.
Wiles, Louise & Hibbert, Peter & Stephens, Jacqueline & Molloy, Charlotte & Maher, Chris & Buchbinder, Rachelle & Moseley, Lorimer & O'Sullivan, Peter & Lin, Ivan & Briggs, Andrew & Slater, Helen & Harris, Ian & Jan, Stephen & Dwyer, Andrew & Fallon, Kieran & Hogg, Malcolm & Fried, Kal & Needs, Chris & Casey, Petrina & Runciman, William. (2021). What Constitutes "Appropriate Care" for Low Back Pain?: Point-of-Care Clinical Indicators From Guideline Evidence and Experts (the STANDING Collaboration Project). Spine. Publish Ahead of Print. 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004274.
Zadro JR, Needs C, Foster NE, et al., Feasibility of delivering and evaluating stratified care integrated with telehealth ('Rapid Stratified Telehealth') for patients with low back pain: protocol for a feasibility and pilot randomised controlled trialBMJ Open 2022;12:e056339. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056339