• 928 Citations
  • 19 h-Index
20012020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Biography

I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University. I am the Director of the Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing at Macquarie University. https://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/healthy-people/centres/centre-for-ageing-cognition-and-wellbeing I am also a member of the Centre for Emotional Health. 

My research interests relate broadly to understanding and treating mental disorders across the lifespan. My research has been recognised with an MRFF Emerging Leader 2 Fellowship (2021-2025), NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (2009-2013), NSW Young Tall Poppy award (2016), and the Allastair Heron Award (Australian Psychological Society) for contributions to older adult mental health. 

I am a Registered Psychologist with clinical endorsement (AHPRA Registration Board Registration No: PSY0001283368) and AHPRA Endorsed Supervisor for Psychology registrars.

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms of anxiety and depression, and on the psychological treatment of these disorders in children, adolescents and older adults. I am particularly interested in how anxiety and depression, and its assessment and treatment differs across the lifespan. I have developed a number of psychological interventions for children, adolescents and older adults through randomised controlled trials. I have a particular interest in translating evidence-based practice into public and private mental health settings and schools. 

 

 

Older Adults

I have a special interest in understanding and treating anxiety and depression in older adults. I have developed and led the evaluations of the Ageing Wisely program for treating comorbid anxiety and depression in older adults. I have also developed its adaptations for use in Parkinson's patients, and for reducing risk for dementia. I have trialled this program in randomised controlled trials in university clinics, over the telephone and in community health settings. To access this program follow this link below:  https://shop.centreforemotionalhealth.com.au/product/ageing-wisely/

CURRENTLY RECRUITING for the STOP trial: We are currently evaluating a multi-site evaluation of a stepped care intervention for treating anxiety and depression in older adults. This intervention can be delivered remotely using telephone, internet and video conferencing methods, or delivered face-to-face. The interventions are based on the Ageing Wisely program and the clinicial trial is cofunded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Beyond Blue. We are seeking older adults aged 65 years and old with symptoms of anxiety, worry or low mood to participate. More information about this trial is available here: www.tiny.cc/STOP-Study

SPAA TRIAL: We are also currently recruiting for a clinical trial to evaluate potential enhancements to the Ageing Wisely program. This clinical trial is cofunded by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Beyond Blue. We are seeking older adults aged 65 years and old with symptoms of anxiety, worry or low mood to participate. More information about this trial is available here: www.tiny.cc/SPAA-Study  

I am also interested in understanding the barriers to treatment. In conjunction with my collaborators I have developed a resource for General Practitioners to assist them to identify older adults with anxiety and depression who would benefit from treatment. This resource is currently available here through the links above.    

You can see some of my previous research here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDWXY2-6c8I

 

Youth

I have developed and led the evaluations of the Study without Stress program for treating academic anxiety in senior school students, the Cool Teens/Chilled Out online anxiety program for adolescents, and I have assisted in the development and evaluation of newer editions of the Cool Kids program for treating child anxiety. I have evaluated these programs in university clinics, schools, and community health. To access these materials follow the below links:

Study without Stress: https://shop.centreforemotionalhealth.com.au/product/study-without-stress-program-kit/

Cool Kids: https://shop.centreforemotionalhealth.com.au/product-category/forprofessionals/clinical/

Chilled Out: https://www.mq.edu.au/about/campus-services-and-facilities/hospital-and-clinics/centre-for-emotional-health-clinic/programs-for-children-and-teenagers/online-treatment-accordions/chilled-out-online/ChilledOutFlyer.pdf

 

My current major projects are:

Australian Rotary Health - Translating experimental neuroscience into treatment: Preventing the return of fear in youth with anxiety disorders using memory reconsolidation mechanisms. (2020-2022)

ARC Discovery Project - Explaining the link between reading impairments and emotional disorders. (2020-2023)

NHMRC Project Grant - Translating Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions for Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety into Public and Private Mental Health Settings Using a Stepped Care Framework (2018-2022) www.tiny.cc/STOP-Study

NHMRC Project Grant - Improving Mental Health and Social Participation Outcomes in Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety (2018-2021) www.tiny.cc/SPAA-Study  

NHMRC Project Grant - Increasing the efficacy of treatment for socially anxious youth through theoretically derived improvements (2016-2020)

Australian Rotary Health - Psychological Stepped Care for Anxious Adolescents in Community Mental Health Services: An Effectiveness Trial (2017-2020)

 

Research Themes:Anxiety; Depression; Academic Stress; Prevention of Mental Disorders and Cognitive Decline; Psychosis; Psychopathology

Populations: Older Adults; Children and Adolescents

Research Methods: Clinical Trials, Psychosocial Therapy, Translational Research (public health, schools), Systematic Reviews, Experimental Methods.

Research engagement

I am the director of the Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing, Faculty of Medicine, Health & Human Sciences, Macquarie University. 

Previously I have served in various National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) roles including on the MRFF Peer Review panel (2019), NHMRC Assigners Academy (2018) and Grant Review Panels (2015, 2016, 2017). I have previously served on the Executive Committee of the Centre for Emotional Health (2016-2020), and Centre for Smart Green Cities (2017-2019).

I was also Research Chair and Deputy Head (Research) in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University (2017-2018).

I have also serve on the following Editorial Boards (peer-reviewed scientific journals): Clinical Gerontologist (2016-current), Contemporary Behavioral Health Care (2015–current), Child Psychiatry and Human Development (2014–current). I was previously an Associate Editor on the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology (2016-2018).

Research student supervision

HDR Completions

Associate Supervisor, Chris Kilby, 2017- 2020, Ph.D. Thesis title: Stressing the Importance of Stress Beliefs.

Primary Supervisor, Kate Davis, 2018-2019, Masters of Research, Thesis Title: Parenting factors associated with children’s school-related anxiety: A preliminary study of parental overprotection and family accommodation

Primary Supervisor, Jessica Shen, 2017, Masters of Research, Thesis Title: Physiology in Anxious Children: A Systematic Review and Empirical Thesis.

Primary Supervisor, Catherine Lowe – 2014-2015 (part-time), Masters of Research, Thesis title: Student and Teacher Stress in High Stakes Testing.

Primary supervisor, Jacqueline Frei – 2012-2016 (part-time) Master of Philosophy, Macquarie University. Thesis Title:  The Role of Dispositional Mindfulness in Affective and Physiological Reactivity Across the Adult Lifespan.

Primary supervisor, Jamie Taylor, 2012-2016, Combined Master of Clinical Psychology/Ph.D, Macquarie University. Topic: Positive Reappraisal in Older Adults: Examination of a Cognitive Emotion Regulation Strategy.

Associate Supervisor, Iris Bartula, 2013-2015, Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), Macquarie University, completion 2015. Topic:  Assessment of Sexual Dysfunction in Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

Primary supervisor, Dusanka Vujkovic – 2010-2014 (Conferred 12th August, 2014), Combined Masters of Clinical Psychology/Ph.D, Macquarie University. Topic area: Cognitive, Emotional and Behaviour differences in anxiety and depression between younger and older adults.

Co-Primary supervisor, Carly Johnco – 2010-2014 (Degree conferred March 2014), Combined Masters of Clinical Psychology/Ph.D, Macquarie University. Topic area: Understanding the role of cognitive flexibility in cognitive restructuring skill acquisition in older adults. VC Commendation.

Current HDR Students:

1. Primary Supervisor, Dino Zagic, Combined Ph.D./Masters of Clinical Psychology (2019- current)

2. Co-Primary Supervisor, Nine Wolters, Ph.D. (Joint Ph.D University of Amsterdam, 2019 - current)

3. Co-primary Supervisor, Trudy Green, Masters of Research/Ph.D. (2019-current)

Teaching

I teach on the Masters of Clinical Psychology Program.

PSY919 Developmental Psychopathology (Unit Convenor)

PSYC988 Psychological Assessment, Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 2 (Unit Convenor)

PSYC989 Therapy 2 (I teach the components on therapy for child and adolescent mental disorders)

PSYC995 Therapy 4 (I teach on assessment and treatment of mental disorders in older adults, dementia, working with carers, and adjustment disorders).

Community engagement

I am currently the elected National Convenor of the Scientific Committee of the Australian Psychological Society Psychology and Ageing Interest Group (2020 - current).

Previously I was an elected Board Member of WayAhead (formerly NSW Mental Health Association), on the Executive Committee of the Macquarie Univeristy Human Research Ethics Committee (2016), as well as being a core member (Clinical Care) (2015-2016).

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Projects

Research Outputs

Academic stress in the final years of school: a systematic literature review

Wuthrich, V. M., Jagiello, T. & Azzi, V., 16 Mar 2020, In : Child Psychiatry and Human Development. 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Open Access
    File
  • Subscales of the Fear Survey Schedule-III in community dwelling older adults–relations to clinical and cognitive measures

    Mohlman, J., Lauderdale, S. & Wuthrich, V., 3 May 2020, In : Clinical Gerontologist. 43, 3, p. 281-294 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Activities

    • 2 Oral presentation

    A ‘Whole Person, Whole System’ approach to the assessment of hearing, communication, and cognition: development of a new interdisciplinary clinical battery

    Paul Strutt (Speaker), Amanda Barnier (Speaker), Gregory Savage (Speaker), Viviana Wuthrich (Speaker), Celia Harris (Speaker), Timothy Beechey (Speaker), Phillip Nakad (Speaker)
    2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    A ‘Whole Person, Whole System’ approach to the assessment of hearing, communication, and cognition: development of a new interdisciplinary clinical battery

    Paul Strutt (Speaker), Amanda Barnier (Speaker), Gregory Savage (Speaker), Viviana Wuthrich (Speaker), Celia Harris (Speaker), Timothy Beechey (Speaker), Phillip Nakad (Speaker)
    2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation