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Professor Vicki Anderson
Professor Vicki Anderson is a paediatric neuropsychologist with over 30 years' experience. In 2002 she was appointed Director of Psychology at the Royal Children's Hospital, and in 2005 she took up the position of Theme Director, Critical Care and Neurosciences Research at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. She is an NHMRC Senior Practitioner Fellow, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, the Australian Psychological Society and the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.
Professor Anderson's research is focused on improving our understanding of childhood acquired brain injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, concussion), chronic illness (e.g., cystic fibrosis, cancer, chronic fatigue) and neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, learning disability). Her team is internationally recognised for their longitudinal work covering a range of modalities including neuroimaging, cognitive, social and behavioural outcomes, as well as psychological interventions for these children and their families.
Professor Anderson has published over 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as four books and has obtained competitive research grants totalling over $20 million. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Neuropsychology (British Psychological Society) and Neuropsychology (American psychological Association) and consulting editor on a number of prestigious international neuropsychology journals. She has served on the Board of Governors of the International Neuropsychological Society, and has had a long-term involvement, at an executive level, with the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment and has been President of the Society.
- 2014: Fellow, Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment
- 2007: Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
- 2013: Fellow, Australian Psychological Society
- 2014: Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Scientists
Professor Anderson's research interests are in disorders of childhood that disrupt brain development. Her primary research aim is to better understand the impact of acquired brain injury (e.g., head injury, stroke) for the developing brain, and in identifying ways of preventing and treating the resultant impairments.
The VIBeS Plus intervention is a preventive care program for very preterm infants and their families. The program involved home visits over the first year of life post-hospital discharge by a team of psychologists and physiotherapists dealing with settling, developmental, attachment and adjustment issues. Researchers conducted a randomised controlled trial of this program and follow-up assessments at two and four-years of age, which revealed that children in the intervention group were exhibiting fewer behavioural problems and parents were exhibiting better mental health than those families in the standard care control group.
Take C.A.RE- Concussion
Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS) is a recognised cause of long-term morbidity in children after a concussion. Although a minority of patients go on to develop PCS, those who are affected can experience long-lasting symptoms and cognitive impairment. These impairments can significantly interfere with school achievement, social development, and overall quality of life. The aim of the Take C.A.RE project is to develop and validate clinical prediction rules for PCS to identify high-risk patients when they present to the emergency department with a concussion and to optimize referrals to a dedicated concussion clinic.
In 2010, the RCH Foundation provided funds to assist the diagnosis and management of childhood epilepsy through the development of improved imaging techniques by the RCH Children's Neuroscience Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Developmental Imaging group. The goals of the project are: 1) To develop and implement advanced brain imaging and image analysis methods, 2) To use these methods to research important paediatric neuroscience questions, and 3) To inform the clinical care of patients by applying insights gained from this research.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound, medically unexplained fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and may be worsened by physical or mental activity. CFS/ME may affect up to 2% of adolescents and results in substantial distress and significant functional impairment. It has a huge impact on participation across academic, social and physical activities during an important developmental phase and has been described as a leading cause of school absence in children and adolescents. Currently there are limited evidence-based treatment options for this condition.
The Take a Breath Project
This program of research, in collaboration with The Parenting Research Centre, aims to improve psychosocial support for families following diagnosis of a life threatening childhood illness or injury. The Take a Breath project is being conducted across four hospital departments: Cancer, Cardiology, Neurology, and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, and is now being piloted in a cerebral palsy group within Developmental Medicine.
Anderson, V., Greenham, M, Hearps, S., Gordon, A., Rinehart, N, Gonzalez, L., Yeates, K, Hajek, C., Lo, W., & Mackay, M. (2014). Social competence following child stroke: Contributions of Brain Insult and family Environment. Social Neuroscience, 9, 471-483.
Anderson, V., Beauchamp, M.H., Yeates, K.O., Crossley, L., Hearps, S.J.C., Catroppa, C. (2013). Social Competence at 6 Months Following Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19(5), 539-550
Cooper, J., Catroppa, C., Beauchamp, M… Anderson, V. (2014). Attentional Control Ten Years Post-Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury: The Impact of Lesion Presence, Location, and Severity in Adolescence and Early Adulthood. J Neurotrauma, 31: 713-721.
Anderson V, Spencer-Smith M, Wood, A. (2011). Do children really recover better? Neurobehavioural plasticity after early brain insult. Brain, 134:197-22.
10. Anderson V, Godfrey C, et al. (2012). Predictors of cognitive function and recovery 10 years after traumatic brain injury in young children. Pediatrics, 129, e254-e261 (Citations=25).
Anderson, V., Brown, S., Newitt, H., & Hoile, H. (2011). Long-term outcome from childhood traumatic brain injury: Intellectual ability, personality, and quality of life. Neuropsychology, 25(2), 176-184.
Beauchamp M, Anderson V. (2010). SOCIAL: An integrative framework for the development at social skills. Psychological Bulletin, 136: 39-64.
Anderson V, Spencer-Smith M, et al. (2009). Childhood brain insult: Can age at insult help us predict outcome? Brain, 132: 45-56.
Anderson, V., Catroppa, C., Morse, S., Haritou, F. & Rosenfeld, J. (2005). Functional plasticity or vulnerability after early brain injury? Pediatrics, 116(6), 1374-1382.
Manly, T., Anderson, V., Nimmo-Smith, I., Turner, A., Watson, P. & Robertson, I.H. (2001). The differential assessment of children's attention: The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch), normative sample and ADHD performance. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 42(8) , 1065-1081.