Meet our Researchers - Finding the Answers that help ISCRR make a difference

Khic-Houy Prang is a part-time research assistant in the Compensation Research Database (CRD) team at ISCRR. She conducts data analysis of TAC and WorkSafe claims, and assists in the publication of papers.

Khic is currently enrolled in a full-time PhD at the Monash Injury research Institute with a scholarship from ISCRR. Her PhD project aims to identify the type and sources of social support that are optimal for recovery following musculoskeletal injury.

How long have you worked for ISCRR?Almost three years.  I started working at ISCRR in February 2011 as a research assistant in the Compensation Research Database team.  In October 2012, I enrolled in a full-time PhD at the Monash Injury Research Institute (MIRI) with a scholarship from ISCRR.  I'm currently working at ISCRR part-time.

Where were you prior to starting at ISCRR?
I spent some times travelling overseas in 2010.  I spent three months in South America, a couple of months in Europe and a month in South Africa.  I enjoy travelling and all the satisfaction and challenges that come with it.

Prior to travelling, I was a research assistant at the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit (VISU), Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), where I maintained and developed the injury surveillance datasets; the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) and the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD).  I extracted, analysed and disseminated injury surveillance data and I also assisted in the preparation of the VISU publication 'Hazard', and research reports for government and other VISU clients.

What attracted you to this type of research?
I was first exposed to injury via my previous role at VISU.  Working at ISCRR has further fuelled my interest in injury outcomes.  I am very interested in the way injured people respond to rehabilitation and treatment.  I'm particularly interested in identifying factors that influence health outcomes.

What do you like best about your role?As a research assistant, I am constantly learning, acquiring new knowledge and skills.  I enjoy analysing claims data, learning about the compensation systems in Victoria and how the system can influence injury outcomes.  I've added new statistical skills to my repertoire and I have drafted a number of manuscripts.  I also had the opportunity to present some of the research findings at conferences. 

First job?McDonalds when I was 16.

Worst job?I was a lab assistant at the Monash Medical Centre. Dividing 24 hour urine samples into aliquots was definitely an experience.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve?My PhD project aims to identify the type and sources of social support that are optimal for recovery following a musculoskeletal injury.  I am specifically looking at the role and effects of perceived social support in the family and in the workplace.

At ISCRR, using the compensation research database, I am investigating return to work outcomes and healthcare service utilisation patterns among claimants with mental health conditions.

What was the most fulfilling piece of research you completed?The most fulfilling piece of research was the first project I worked on at ISCRR which involved examining patterns of healthcare service utilisation among claimants with traumatic brain injury.  With the guidance of Associate Professor Alex Collie and Dr Rasa Ruseckaite, I worked on every aspect of the project, from analysing the data to writing the manuscript. This subsequently led to a published paper with me as first author.  I was very pleased as this was my first author paper.

How is your research benefiting WorkSafe and the TAC?My PhD project will provide WorkSafe and TAC recommendations for a multi-level intervention approach that targets the injured person, family and workplace in recovery from musculoskeletal injury.

What is your favourite thing to do on the weekend?
Every weekend, I try to do a 10km run and a body pump class.  Exercise makes me feel happy and relaxed.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given, and what would you give?The best piece of advice I've been given is 'treat your PhD like a 9-5 job (with overtime)'.

The advice I will give is 'Good things come to those who work hard and never give up'.