Researchers seek mums with rheumatoid arthritis - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Researchers seek mums with rheumatoid arthritis

29 Jan 2015

Two USC researchers have received funding to show how local mothers with rheumatoid arthritis are managing their illness, families and lives.

Master of Science student Shannyn Meloncelli, of Buderim, and Associate Lecturer in Communication Gail Crimmins will use an USC Office of Engagement grant to produce three short films on the coping and support strategies of the women.

Ms Meloncelli was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2009 when 36 weeks pregnant with her first daughter and is doing research at USC to turn her personal experience into professional practice.

She said the project, a collaboration with Arthritis and Osteoporosis Victoria, aimed to help all mothers living with chronic health conditions.

“I hope we can help other mothers by showing what is possible,” she said. “Some days you’re exhausted and your joints are sore but I found little tips to conserve energy so I could better care for two babies under 18 months old.”

Ms Crimmins, who has a background in film and television casting, direction and production, said the films would be shot by a locally-based production company.

The researchers are seeking three local mothers with rheumatoid arthritis to discuss and demonstrate the adaptations they have made with everyday parenting and domestic responsibilities in the home.

Ms Meloncelli, who is also a USC graduate of Arts (Communication) and Education, said the project was designed to harness the knowledge and skills of the mothers and give them a voice.

For details email her on 

— Julie Schomberg

Shannyn Meloncelli with her two toddlers

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