PhD candidate needs research participants to better understand distress during an MRI

5 MAY 2020

PhD candidate needs research participants to better understand distress during an MRI

Charles Sturt University PhD candidate Mr Johnathan Hewis is inviting residents of the Mid North Coast to take part in a study which aims to better understand why people can become distressed during MRI scans.

  • A Charles Sturt PhD candidate is inviting Mid North Coast locals who have experienced distress during an MRI to participate in a study  

A PhD candidate from Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie is conducting a study to better understand why people can become distressed during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

Charles Sturt PhD candidate Mr Johnathan HewisMr Johnathan Hewis (pictured) is inviting members of the Mid North Coast community aged over 18 years who have had an MRI scan in the last six months, and experienced distress during the scan, to take part in his PhD research project.

Mr Hewis, who is also a Senior Lecturer in Medical Imaging in the Charles Sturt School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, said the study aims to help healthcare professionals increase their understanding and insight into the patient experience to better support individuals who experience MRI-related distress.

“MRI scans can be a relatively mundane and painless diagnostic procedure for a lot of people, but unfortunately many individuals do experience varying levels of distress, with some unable to tolerate and complete their procedure,” he said.

“This study aims to understand what the experience of distress during an MRI is like by giving a voice to the people who have experienced it. 

“This includes exploring the triggers of distress, coping strategies people may use, and gaining an understanding of their needs and expectations at different stages in the procedure. 

“Ultimately it is about listening carefully to their story, their experience, their journey, so we can understand it better as a profession.”

Mr Hewis said he chose to undertake the study in the Mid North Coast region because one of the University’s core values is to make an impact within its communities.

“The Mid North Coast is in the regional footprint of Charles Sturt University, so I hope to give a voice to my region through this study,” he said.

Participants will be asked to take part in a 45-90 minute video interview conducted by Mr Hewis.

After the interview, participants will be asked if they would like to review the research findings and will be posted or emailed the initial written summary.

A follow-up conversation for participants to discuss the findings with Mr Hewis will then be organised. All responses will be treated confidentially.

Further information as well as an information sheet on the study is available online on Charles Sturt’s ThinkSpace website.

Questions about the study can be directed to Mr Hewis via telephone (02) 6582 9346 or email

The study is being supervised by Associate Professor Rachel Rossiter and Associate Professor Marguerite Bramble from Charles Sturt.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Mr Johnathan Hewis, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0456 377 434 or

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